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Indonesia Ready to Host the 2023 AIS Forum Summit

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By: Ananda Rasti )*

Indonesia is once again trusted to host an international event. After successfully holding the ASEAN High Level Conference (KTT) in Labuan Bajo, NTT in May 2023 and in Jakarta last September, now Indonesia will hold the 2023 Archipelagic and Islands States Forum (AIS) Summit. A number of islands and archipelagos will participate in the AIS Summit The first forum will be on October 11 2023 in Bali.

The appointment of Bali as the host of the AIS Forum Summit was through the 8th Senior Official Meeting (SOM) which took place on 29-30 August 2023 in Antananarivo, Madagascar. Project Coordinator of the AIS Forum Secretariat, Riny Modaso, said that the implementation of this summit would later become a strategic platform to strengthen the AIS Forum’s concrete programs in various fields throughout island countries and archipelagic countries.

According to him, the AIS Forum continues to be dedicated to facilitating cooperation and innovation between island and archipelagic countries, with upcoming activities namely the First Summit in Bali, which will mark a historic moment in its journey as a global forum.

Head of the DKI Jakarta Food, Maritime and Agricultural Security (KPKP) Service, Suharini Eliawati, is also optimistic that the summit will be a good momentum to forge regional and global agreements.

Suharini reminded that pollution in the sea does not only come from one location.

Pollution also comes from various regions in the world because the sea is connected to various countries. According to him, the trash and pollutants that pollute DKI Jakarta’s seas do not only come from Jakarta, but can come from other regions or even countries.

The AIS Forum is a concrete cooperation platform that was formed to accommodate island and archipelagic countries throughout the world to jointly overcome the challenges and problems they face, especially in the marine development sector. The summit is planned to be attended by heads of state/heads of government from AIS Forum participating countries.

Indonesia has initiated the formation of the AIS Forum since 2017. The main aim of the AIS Forum is to strengthen collaboration in overcoming global problems in four main areas, namely climate change mitigation and adaptation, blue economy, handling plastic waste at sea, and good maritime governance. This includes reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing resilience to climate change.

Director General of Information and Public Communication at the Ministry of Communication and Informatics, Usman Kansong, is of the opinion that the implementation of the 2023 AIS Forum Summit in Indonesia has further strengthened the world’s trust in  Indonesia’s leadership  in various international forums. According to him, in the last three to five years Indonesia has gained confidence in holding various international forums, including AIS Forum activities.

In order to prepare for the 2023 AIS Forum Summit, the Directorate General of Information and Public Communication, Ministry of Communication and Informatics held a  media briefing  which was attended by dozens of journalists from local and national media. He also invited national and local media to amplify the activities of the 2023 AIS Forum Summit which will be held at the Bali Nusa Dua Convention Center (BNDCC) Bali.

Meanwhile, Assistant Deputy for Delimitation of Maritime Zones and Border Areas, Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs and Investment, Sora Lokita, explained that the emergence of the AIS Forum was an opportunity for Indonesia to make movements again on a global scale. The AIS Forum is a means of creating concrete and profitable activity programs for island or archipelagic countries and their residents.

AIS Forum has carried out various activities in island and archipelagic countries. These include entrepreneurship training for young people and business people in Vanuatu and collaboration in Fiji, namely distributing marine health measuring devices. Throughout 2023, the AIS Forum will also carry out activities in Jamaica, Guyana, Papua New Guinea and the United Kingdom.

The main target of the AIS Forum Summit later is  the leaders’ declaration , which will contain the leaders’ hopes  about how the AIS Forum will develop as an international organization that can help islanders  and  improve the various programs that have been carried out.

The 2023 AIS Forum Summit carries the theme “Fostering Collaboration, Enabling Innovation for Our Ocean and Our Future” or “Fostering Collaboration, Advancing Innovation for the Ocean and a Common Future”. As host of the 2023 AIS Forum Summit, Indonesia encourages meetings that focus on three aspects of life ranging from ecology, social, to economic.

From a social perspective, the presence of plastic waste can damage the beauty of the coast and disturb people’s comfort in enjoying the beauty of the coast and hamper the potential for developing marine tourism. From an ecological perspective, plastic waste can cause damage to marine creatures and the presence of microplastics that enter the bodies of fish can have a negative impact on human health. In the economic sector, a decline in environmental quality will cause a decrease in interest in investing in sea-based sectors such as maritime tourism, fisheries, sea transportation, and so on.

)* The author is a contributor to the Indonesian Institute for Strategic Information Studies

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