Role of the COM
The COM is empowered by paragraph 5.1 (a) of the IORA Charter which provides for the main duties of the body, namely the
Formulation of policies
Review of progress of co-operation
Taking decisions on new areas of co-operation
Establishment of Functional Bodies
Establishment of Specialised Agencies
Take any other decisions on matters of general interest
Administration of the COM Meeting

The COM meeting is managed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Chair’s country in close collaboration with the Institutional Arrangements and Broadening Engagement (IABE) Directorate at the Secretariat of IORA.

The directorate assists the chair where needs be and works on the implementation of the COM meeting by drafting documents, preparing meeting agendas and circulating documentation to Member States, among other things.

The IORA Chair is currently Sri Lanka and it has served as Vice-Chair from 2022 – 2023, before assuming the role of Chair since the COM meeting held in October 2023.

The Chair has, in consonance, been devolved in the person of the Honorable Foreign Minister, Hon. M.U.M Ali Sabry, PC. M.P, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.  


The theme chosen by the Chair, for their mandate 2023-2025, and announced at the COM meeting in October 2023 is “Strengthening Regional Architecture: Reinforcing Indian Ocean Identity".  


Additionally, the current Vice-Chair of the organisation is India, which shall second the Chair in their mandate until India assumes the Chairship in 2025.  

Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
The COM is led by a Chair and is assisted by a Vice-Chair elected by the representatives of Member States in the IORA Council of Ministers’ meeting.

The Chair has a mandate of 2 years, whereby it will lead the organization during thisperiod.  In practice, the incoming chairis the Member State which has served as Vice-Chair in the previous mandate.

The role of the Chair is to arrange, coordinate, host and preside over the meetings of the Council, the meetings of the Committee of Senior Officials and any other meetings as mandated by the COM.

11 October 2023
- Colombo, Sri Lanka on
24 November 2022
- Dhaka, Bangladesh on
17 November 2021
- Dhaka, Bangladesh on
17 December 2020 (Virtual)
- Abu Dhabi, UAE on
7 November 2019
- Durban, South Africa on
2 November 2018
- Durban, South Africa on
18 October 2017
- Durban, South Africa on
27 October 2016
- Bali, Indonesia on
23 October 2015
- Padang, Indonesia on
9 October 2014
- Perth, Australia on
1 November 2013
- Perth, Australia on
2 November 2012
- Gurgaon, India on
15 November 2011
- Bengaluru, India on
5 August 2010
- Sana’a, Yemen on
25 June 2009
- Sana’a, Yemen on
COM Meetings
The COM meets on an annual basis, in an in-person meeting, hosted in the country of the Chair. Below is a table of all the Council of Ministers meetings held since the creation of the organization with their respective outcome documents.
Date of Meeting
Host country
- 11 Oct 2023
Colombo, Sri Lanka
- 24 Nov 2022
Dhaka, Bangladesh
- 17 Nov 2021
Dhaka, Bangladesh
- 17 Dec 2020
Abu Dhabi, UAE
- 07 Nov 2019
Durban, South Africa