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AIS Forum Summit, Forum for Island and Island Countries to Discuss Global Issues

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By: Putri Meidiana )*

Indonesia was trusted to host the  first Archipelagic and Island States Summit  (AIS Summit) Forum after being planned for the previous seven years. This summit will later become a strategic platform to strengthen the AIS Forum’s concrete programs in various fields throughout island and archipelagic countries.

Indonesia has invited 51 island and archipelagic countries to participate in the first AIS Forum Summit which will be held on October 11 2023 in Bali. The AIS Forum Summit has the principle of embracing and collaborating with all island and archipelagic countries, as well as concretely creating programs that originate from the interests of the community. 

One of the main targets of the AIS Forum Summit is to serve as a forum for the aspirations and hopes of state leaders who prioritize the interests of the people of the country itself. How will the AIS Forum Summit continue to develop into an international organization that can help the benefit of the population in the future ? island and archipelagic countries, as well as improving and improving various programs and work that have been carried out by the AIS Forum.

The aim of the AIS Forum is to address global problems in the first 4 areas, including climate change mitigation and adaptation, blue economy, handling plastic waste at sea and good maritime governance.

The AIS Forum Summit is an idea and innovation driven by Indonesia. Initially, the idea for the AIS Forum Summit was initiated in 2017 based on the challenges faced by Indonesia as an archipelagic country. Not only the problem of climate change, developing the potential of the blue economy, but also problems of connectivity, empowerment of coastal communities and marine pollution.

Indonesia has many  best practices , and Indonesia wants to create a global movement where solutions to the problems of island and archipelagic countries can be mobilized from all corners of the world. The hope is that this movement will become more massive and ultimately island and archipelagic countries can face challenges together. 

After side discussions at the 2017 Maritime Conference in New York and the follow-up conference of the Islands and Island Countries Forum in Jakarta in 2017, a common understanding was born among the AIS participating countries. The Archipelagic and Island Countries Forum was then officially formed through the adoption of the Manado Joint Declaration at the first Ministerial Meeting of participating countries on 1 November 2018.

The forum creates a unique grouping of countries, taking part in a collective forum to address shared challenges that threaten the livelihoods of islanders. The AIS Forum welcomes collaboration with other platforms and organizations that will enrich and broaden the Forum’s perspective. The AIS Forum itself is a development initiative that focuses on concrete actions that can encourage the role of youth in improving the livelihoods of coastal communities through ideas, creativity and smart and innovative solutions.

Indonesia views the importance of the AIS Forum as a forum for actively building strategic partnerships with countries, organizations and other development actors, both at regional and global levels. For this reason, Indonesia invites member countries of the AIS Forum to collaborate and work together to strengthen the concrete cooperation framework of the AIS Forum. This is important to ensure the sustainability of AIS Forum programs and activities for decades to come.

Island and archipelagic countries must have an optimal strategy for collaborating between stakeholders to stimulate a sustainable maritime economy. Therefore, for an island and archipelagic country, the sea is the backbone of the economy where solutions are needed that can be used for the country itself and other developing countries. 

The AIS Forum Summit is very important because it is a forum for island and island countries to contribute to bringing resolutions to global problems. This forum belongs to all island and archipelagic countries in the world, regardless of their size, location and level of economic development. This is the hope for all of us to be able to foster a sense of ownership, a desire to strengthen collaboration, and expand the impact of our collaboration to many other communities in various countries and regions.

Involvement in the AIS Forum shows Indonesia’s ability to position itself in world governance, not only on issues on the mainland, but also aspects of its islands. Hopefully, through involvement in this forum, it can reflect that Indonesia is contributing internationally. Indonesia must become a role model in paying attention to various aspects, especially maritime affairs.

Therefore, we hope that Indonesia can continue to contribute to the AIS Forum to strengthen cooperation with countries that have characteristics and development models similar to Indonesia. This is not to dominate, but aims to contribute to world order.

)* The author is an observer of social problems 

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