11.8.2020 : 12:28 : +0200

General Information | Point of Contact | PoA initiatives & activites | Instruments & documents | Members


Indian Ocean Commission (COI)



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Short description

The COI is an intergovernmental organization aimed at promoting economic development in the areas of trade, tourism, and cultural solidarity, as well as sub-regional interests in international and regional forums, the preservation of natural resources and the environment, social development, regional stability, and good governance.


Similar to previous years, in 2011 the operating budget of the COI General Secretariat, consisting of 27 permanent staff, was EUR 540,000, contributed by Réunion (France) (40 per cent), Madagascar (29 per cent), Mauritius (20 per cent), Comoros (6 per cent), and Seychelles (5 per cent). It has been managing multi-annual projects with a value of nearly EUR 83 million, mostly from external assistance and primarily for natural resource conservation. Between 2005 and 2011 the EU supported 68 per cent of the projects with a significant contribution from France (EUR 12 million) and additional contributions from Greece, China, the African Development Bank, the World Bank, the Commonwealth Bureau, and other international organizations: UNICEF, UNDP, UNAIDS, WFP, ITC, and OIF. The COI does not have a budget for regional security and thus its supportive actions in this area are limited. Several activities are undertaken through the partnership it established with UNODC in 2009.

The five members of the COI established the organization in 1984.


5 members (all UN member states)

  • Current members*: Comoros, Réunion (France), Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles (Bold: founding member, Grey: suspended member)
  • Former members: None
  • Membership pending: None

Overlapping memberships with other ROs

COI members represent:

  • 4 of 19 COMESA members
  • 3 of 15 SADC members
  • 3 of 15 SARPCCO members

*Information accurate as of 11 April 2012

PoA Point of Contact

  • Denise Azais-Vely
  • Section Head, Human Development and Regional Security


PoA-related activities

The COI identifies its main regional security concerns as terrorism, money laundering, maritime piracy, mercenaries, trafficking (most notably drugs, precious stones, and sexual tourism), and illegal fishing. Its main area of work centres on implementing its Regional Security Convention (2006). In 2010, as part of the IRCC, COI agreed a regional strategy and action plan on piracy and maritime security, which covers information exchange, cooperation, joint action, and capacity-building measures. One project may be a future EU-funded regional maritime security programme to be led by IGAD (2013, EUR 25 million). The project will strengthen national and regional capacities related to such areas as the arrest, transfer, holding, prosecution, and imprisonment of pirates; combating money laundering; and improving coordination and information exchange. Small arms trafficking is not seen as a particular threat; however, it is addressed by national coordinators (sometimes in collaboration with other members) on a per need basis within its maritime security and regional stability framework implemented with UNODC in a partnership that was cemented in 2009.

PoA-related programmes and initiatives

PoA-relevant cooperation with other ROs

The COI forms part of the overall Eastern and Southern Africa–Indian Ocean regional grouping with COMESA, EAC, and IGAD. These, in addition to SADC and the EU, comprise the Inter-Regional Coordination Committee (IRCC), established in 2001. The IRCC also serves as the Secretariat for the implementation of the Regional Strategy and Action Plan on Piracy and Maritime Security for Eastern and Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean.

Legally binding regional instruments

  • Convention sur la Sécurité Régionale des Etats Membres de la Commission de L’Océan Indien (2006)

Other official documents of interest

  • Joint Communiqué from the Eastern and Southern Africa–Indian Ocean Ministers and European Union High Representative at the 2nd Regional Ministerial Meeting on Piracy and Maritime Security in the Eastern and Southern Africa and Indian Ocean Region, Mauritius, 7 October 2010


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