Foreign Minister Peiris assumes Vice Chair of IORA | Sunday Observer

Foreign Minister Peiris assumes Vice Chair of IORA

21 November, 2021

Foreign Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris, accepting the Vice-Chair position of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) at the 21st Council of Ministers Meeting held in Dhaka called for collective action to safeguard the maritime shipping lanes and ocean space from pollution related disasters. Referring to the MV-X Press Pearl disaster in May 2021, involving plastic nurdles, hazardous and noxious materials, Minister Peiris said that the environmental impact was not only felt in Sri Lanka but with possible long-term repercussions on marine environment beyond Sri Lanka waters.

Stressing on the importance of regional cooperation in maritime safety and security, Minister Peiris said that Sri Lanka will take the lead in proposing collective action that could avert or mitigate such disasters that have long term repercussions not only on the environment but also livelihoods – a critical concern for all Member States.

He also called on the global community to establish a fund to recover environmental damage and losses considering the magnitude of the consequences of such incidents.

He thanked all Members States who extended their support to mitigate the environmental impact of the disaster.

Congratulating the Government of Bangladesh on the assumption of leadership of IORA, Foreign Minister Peiris said that Sri Lanka unreservedly has placed its confidence in Bangladesh leading IORA in the next two years which is crucial given the ongoing pandemic.