Amb. Josphat Maikara, Secretary Foreign Service Administration on November 24, 2022 represented the Cabinet Secretary for Foreign and Diaspora Affairs Dr. Alfred Mutua at the 22nd Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Council of Ministers (COM) meeting held in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
The ministerial meeting attended by representatives from 23 Member States and Partners of IORA was themed, “Harnessing the opportunities of the Indian Ocean Sustainability for Inclusion Development: Saving the environment of the Indian Ocean”
The COM adopted important policy and strategic documents including IORA’s Outlook on the Indo-Pacific and Regulations related to Dialogue Partnerships.
Speaking at the meeting, Amb. Maikara said that Kenya remains committed to sustainable and inclusive development and management of the Indian Ocean Blue Economy resources.
“Kenya is currently developing a National Blue Economy Strategy that is inclusive and multi-stakeholder oriented; integrated maritime/marine spatial plan to enhance the rational planning, management and governance of Kenya’s ocean space and the environment around the coastline,” Amb. Maikara said.
He said Kenya is committed to pursuing regional collaborations in the maritime and marine-culture sector to enhance capacity building for the actualization of the strategy and spatial plan.
On prevention of marine pollution, which remains one of the threats to conservations of oceans, Amb. Maikara informed the meeting that Kenya since 2017 has banned the manufacture and use of polythene bags and extended the same to single-use plastics in protected areas. He said this has been a key milestone in regenerating oceans health.
Another global landmark for Kenya was during the 5th United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA5) held in Kenya this year, where Kenya co-sponsored the “end of plastic pollution resolution.”
“Against this backdrop, Kenya Government remains committed to ensuring the actualization of the establishment of the legally binding instrument by 2024 for complete elimination of Marine Plastic Litter,” Amb. Maikara stated, adding, Kenya has also developed a critical National Marine Spill Contingency Plan and a National Marine Litter Management Action Plan.
The Ambassador underscored that Kenya is committed to enhancing capacity building; maritime security; revitalization of its national carrier, the Kenya National Shipping line and is also keen to tap into ocean resources.
He reiterated Kenya’s commitment to continue offering her support to sustainable development and management of the Indian Ocean.
He congratulated the Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh (current Chair) and the IORA Secretariat for hosting the meeting.
The Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) is a dynamic inter-governmental organization aimed at strengthening regional cooperation and sustainable development within the Indian Ocean region through its 23 Member States and 10 Dialogue Partners.