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Taking Advantage of Leadership at the 2023 AIS Summit,  Indonesia Strengthens Cooperation with Island Countries


By : Muhammad Hasyim )*

The Archipelagic and Island States Forum or AIS Forum is a forum for island and archipelagic countries that was formed in 2018, through the Manado Joint Declaration, at the initiative of Indonesia in collaboration with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). Since its formation four years ago, the AIS Forum has regularly held Senior Official Meetings (SOM) and Ministerial Meetings (MM) every year. This forum involves the participation of a number of island and archipelagic countries, regardless of area, size or level of development.

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.

Under the leadership of President Jokowi, Indonesia is trusted to host the 2023 Archipelagic and Island States (AIS) Forum High Level Conference, which is the first to be held after being planned for the previous seven years. Through Presidential Decree Number 20 of 2023 concerning the National Committee Organizing the AIS Summit, President Joko Widodo as the director, appointed the Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan to be the Chairperson Responsible for Substance of the National Committee for the AIS Summit which will be held in Bali in October 2023.

The President also appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi as Deputy Chair I and Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Sakti Wahyu Trenggono as Deputy Chair II in Charge of Substance. Meanwhile, members responsible for substance include Minister of Finance Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Minister of Environment and Forestry Siti Nurbaya, Minister of National Development Planning or Head of Bappenas Suharso Monoarfa, and other relevant ministers.

In the Presidential Decree, it is stated that the person responsible for the substance sector is tasked with preparing and carrying out substance sector activities in organizing the 2023 AIS Forum Summit. In addition, the person responsible for preparing and preparing work plans, budgets and activity reporting, as well as carrying out monitoring and evaluation in the substance sector in support organizing the 2023 AIS Forum Summit to be presented to the directors.

The Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment (Menko Marves) Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan stated that currently there are 46 archipelagic countries in the world. According to him, many countries are enthusiastic about taking part in the world’s first maritime forum. The AIS forum itself has been in the idea of ​​being realized for a long time, namely more than 6 years ago.

The topics discussed at the AIS Summit were very diverse, with various current problems facing island countries. But not only that, it is hoped that the discussion topic will also be able to encourage concrete cooperation between countries to find solutions to these problems. 

Security forces are also ready to make the AIS Summit in Bali a success. In this case, Pangkogabwilhan II as Commander of the Joint Integrated Security Command (Kogabpadpam) VVIP Marshal TNI Andyawan Martono Putra said that he would form a Task Force that would carry out VVIP Security Operations (PAM) including the VVIP Security Task Force and Regional Security, Special Security Task Force, Evacuation Task Force, Cyber ​​Task Force, Intelligence Task Force, Communications and Electronics Task Force, Air Defense Task Force, Marine Task Force, Airport and Harbor Security Task Force, and Information Task Force.

Not only that, the National Police of the Republic of Indonesia is also ready to support the smooth running of the AIS Summit. Commander of the Brimob Pioneer Force, Brigadier General Waris Agono, revealed that as many as 509 Korbrimob Polri personnel who are members of the Tribata Agung Operations Action Task Force will be deployed to secure the AIS Summit.

In the alert call which was held a few days ago, the security of the National Police, especially Brimob, will focus on how to prevent acts of anarchist violence as well as criminal acts of terrorism. Apart from that, it also anticipates natural disasters so that the SAR unit is on standby to handle emergencies if an emergency occurs. 

In fact, the Brimob troops who departed were also equipped with weapons and equipment to support the operation. Meanwhile, Brimob troops on duty in the field will synergize with the TNI and other security elements. With this synergy, it is hoped that the AIS Summit can run smoothly and various security threats can be prevented.

It is hoped that the 2023 AIS Summit will encourage AIS countries to strengthen their commitment and solidarity in facing common challenges. In addition, the 2023 AIS Summit will be a strategic platform to strengthen the AIS Forum’s concrete programs in various fields throughout island countries and archipelagic countries. This could be an opportunity for Indonesia to expand international cooperation with many communities in various countries and regions. 

)* The author is an observer of social problems

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