International Relations

IOI’s Partnerships and International Cooperation


The formation of lasting and effective partnerships through the fostering of international relations form one of the three pillars of IOI’s institutional architecture and underpins the delivery of  training and capacity development for the sustainable management of ocean resources and services. IOI is engaged in collaboration, cooperation and partnership with the international ocean community at several levels: through the international United Nations systems, regional groupings such as the European Union and other regional bodies, NGOs, IGOs, academia and institutions of learning; international organisations and many others across a broad spectrum of activities relating to ocean governance.


The IOI continues to implement its mission and objectives through fostering links of cooperation and establishing new partnerships, collaborative projects and programmes including exchange of knowledge, delivery of keynote papers to relevant fora, entry into partnerships with a variety of stakeholders in the field of ocean affairs as in management, governance and training and education. The IOI makes its publications of scientific and substantive content available freely to its partners and collaborators.


Membership in the United Nations Economic and Social Council (UN ECOSOC)


The IOI continues to contribute to the work of ECOSOC in many areas related to ocean affairs and sustainable development.  The IOI works through the UN General Assembly as an ECOSOC accredited observer and advisor to the membership and organisations, as well as through relevant UN Conferences. The IOI also contributes directly to ECOSOC’s work through joint activities with certain UN Secretariat Offices and Departments (UNDOALOS, DESA, DPI, and others). Since 2007, IOI’s special consultative status gives the Institute an opportunity to participate and contribute to all ECOSOC and subsidiary meetings and to continue its pursuit of international ocean governance.


The IOI interacts closely with the UN’s Programmes, Research and Training Institutes (UNITAR) and various other UN entities (UNU), as well as with UN specialized agencies such as UNEP, WMO, FAO, UNDP, enjoying consultative status with UNESCO-IOC, IMO and UNCTAD.  Many of these interactions are undertaken pursuant to memoranda of cooperation that have been implemented over a number of years.


IOI Institutional partnerships and MOUs


In order to achieve its core mission more effectively, the IOI maintains a number of MOUs with key partners of interest in the field of ocean issues, and capacity building and education in this thematic area. This includes MOUs with the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC/UNESCO); the International Maritime Organization (IMO); the Global Invasive Species Programme (GISP); the Partnerships in Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia (PEMSEA); the State Oceanic Administration of the People’s Republic of China (SOA); the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT); the Cluster of Excellence on the Future Ocean at Christian-Albrechts Universitat zu Kiel, Germany; the European Centre for Information on Marine Science and Technology (EurOcean); the University of Malta; the State Enterprise on Caspian Sea Issues at the President of Turkmenistan in Turkmenistan; and the High Seas Alliance among others.


The IOI enjoys strong collaboration with the European Commission, especially DG Mare, particularly through the provision of expert faculty for training programmes and special seminars, likewise with the European Commission Representation in Malta and the Commonwealth Secretariat through its Oceans and Natural Resources Advisory Division.


IOI Special Events in collaboration with international partners


In addition to the IOI’s core programmes of training and outreach delivered over the year through the actions of the Headquarters and the IOI Operational Centres globally, other thematic events are organised specially on an ad hoc basis during the calendar year to respond to the unique opportunities offered to extend cooperation and partnerships with organisations and to participate in actions to reach the wider public with the IOI’s message. These activities complement and reinforce the IOI’s core deliverables and add value to its main programme and are reported in special editions of the IOI electronic newsletter, the IOInforma