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AIS Forum Summit in Bali Indonesia’s Efforts to Realize the World Maritime Axis Vision

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The Archipelagic and Island States (AIS) Forum initiated by Indonesia in 2018 is an effort to realize the vision of a world maritime axis. Indonesia continues the big ideals in the Djuanda Declaration by showing its leadership in uniting all island and archipelagic countries in the world through the AIS Forum.

AIS Forum is an international organization formed by the Indonesian government. Indonesia’s initiative is part of maritime diplomacy to realize Indonesia as the World Maritime Axis.

President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has officially opened the 2023 AIS Forum High Level Conference (KTT) on October 11 2023 in Bali. This event is the first summit for the platform that brings together 51 island and archipelagic countries in the world.

In his remarks, President Jokowi explained that the forum was a strategic platform to strengthen the AIS Forum’s concrete programs in various fields throughout island and archipelagic countries, as well as an effort to realize the vision of a world maritime axis. Since its inception, AIS was designed as an open, inclusive forum, which would become a concrete node of cooperation and collaboration for various island and archipelagic countries throughout the world.

The AIS Forum was officially declared through a joint Manado Declaration (Manado Joint Declaration) on November 1 2018. This forum was agreed at a Ministerial Level Session which was attended by 21 initiator countries from the Pacific Ocean, Indian Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, to island and archipelagic countries in the Asian region. . Some of these countries include Indonesia, Republic of Cape Verde, Cuba, Cyprus, Fiji, Jamaica, Japan, Republic of Malta, Democratic Republic of Madagascar, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, and Singapore.

The AIS Forum collaboration focuses on four main areas of cooperation in the development and maritime sector, namely implementation of the blue economy , climate change adaptation and mitigation, overcoming marine pollution, especially plastic waste in the sea, and better marine and maritime governance.

To date, the AIS Forum has had several series of activities that carry various themes surrounding maritime affairs, through various aspects and perspectives that refer to the vision of this forum.

Previously, in order to make the inaugural AIS Forum Summit a success, President Jokowi had appointed Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan as Chair. This step is stated in Presidential Decree Number 20 of 2023 concerning the National Committee for Organizing Island and Archipelagic State Forums article 7.

Coordinating Minister Luhut explained that 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.

Meanwhile, Senior Advisor for Climate and Environmental Governance, AIS Program Manager, Abdul Wahib Situmorang previously explained that the AIS Forum Summit was also beneficial for fishermen. According to him, traditional fishermen can no longer rely on natural guidance due to climate change. So natural instructions must be combined with scientific instructions. One of the results of this forum is to encourage as much science-based technology as possible that can be used by traditional fishermen. According to him, it is hoped that the use of technology can save fishermen’s time in catching fish at sea. The AIS Forum Summit is important as a forum for island and island countries to contribute to bringing resolutions to global problems and raising voices and concerns for island countries. This forum belongs to all island and archipelagic countries in the world, regardless of size, location and level of economic development, so it is hoped that it can realize the vision of a world maritime axis.

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