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Summit AIS 2023 Strategic Steps Indonesia is the World Maritime Axis

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By: Galih Firmansyah)*

After successfully holding the 43rd Southeast Southeast Southeast Asian Association (ASEAN) Association, Indonesia will again hold an archipelagic country event, the Archipelagic and Island States (AIS) Forum. The government’s commitment to hold a historic event needs to be appreciated because it is not only the first time, but also the concrete evidence of the government to realize Indonesia’s vision as the world’s maritime axis.

The Indonesian state was not formed by one large island or only a few islands, but from thousands of islands. In general, there are five main islands in Indonesia and 30 small islands totaling more than 17,000 islands where around 6,000 have been inhabited and the rest have not been occupied. The number of Indonesia is often made Indonesia as one of the largest archipelago countries in Southeast Asia.

Not only Indonesia, a number of challenges and disturbances, of course, are often faced by island countries. A number of these challenges are generally diverse ranging from sea pollution, border areas to piracy. With the similarity of challenges in the future, Indonesia under the leadership of President Jokowi initiated the birth of the AIS Summit.

Reporting from the website of the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime and Investment, AIS Forum is a concrete cooperation platform formed to accommodate island and archipelago countries around the world to jointly overcome the challenges and problems faced, especially in the marine development sector. This year, Indonesia plans to hold AIS Summit in Bali on October 11, 2023 which will be attended by the Head of State/Head of Government from the AIS Forum Participant State.

More Late, AIS Forum is an island and island state formed since 2018, through the Manado JointDeclaration, on the initiative of Indonesia in collaboration with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). Since it was formed four years ago, AIS forum regularly holds a Senior Official Meeting (SOM) meeting and a meeting of Ministerial Meeting (MM) every year. This forum involves the participation of 51 island and islands, regardless of the area, size, or level of development.

Related to this, the Secretary of the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime and Investment Ayodhia G. L. Kalake explained that Indonesia had initiated the formation of the AIS Forum since 2017. AIS This forum was formed to encourage collaboration between island and islands around the world. He added that the forum also aims to jointly overcome the challenges and problems encountered, especially in the marine development sector and mitigation of climate change and pollution control at sea.

The Secretary of the Coordinating Ministry continued that AIS aims to strengthen collaboration in overcoming global problems. The main areas include mitigation and adaptation of climate change, blue economy, handling of plastic waste in the sea, and good maritime management. This includes reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing resistance to climate change.

Not only the strengthening of the four areas mentioned above, Summit AIS also opened the door for cooperation with platforms and other organizations to enrich perspectives and achieve broader global goals. This forum also pays special attention to the empowerment of youth and coastal communities through ideas, creativity, and innovative solutions.

Indeed the Summit AIS is important to be able to run smoothly and safely. Because the existence of the forum is also a concrete proof of the government to realize Indonesia’s vision as the world’s maritime axis.

The world’s maritime axis is one of the national development programs that emerged in the era of President Joko Widodo’s administration. This concept was launched on the international community during the 9th East Asia Summit meeting at Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar, on November 13, 2014.

Simply put, the maritime axis aims to make Indonesia a large, strong, and prosperous maritime country through the return of Indonesia’s identity as a maritime nation, securing maritime interests and security, empowering the maritime potential to realize the equitable economic equality of Indonesia.
On one occasion, the Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan revealed that the AIS forum initiated by Indonesia was an effort to realize the vision of the world’s maritime axis.

He explained that Indonesia had big ideals in accordance with the Djuanda Declaration. In the Djuanda Declaration 65 years ago, Indonesia emphasized that Indonesia was a archipelago, which consisted of the homeland that was intact and inseparable.

Until 1982 or more than 20 years since the Djuanda Declaration on December 13, 1957, the concept of an archipelagic state that was carried out by Indonesia was then recognized by the United Nations (UN) through the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea or UNCLOS). The regulation was then officially ratified by 60 countries in 1994.

The implementation of the AIS Summit which was held in Bali on October 11 must be successful and smooth. Therefore, support is needed from all parties, including the community in order to support the historic event in order to show the existence of Indonesia as a respected maritime country of the world.

)* The author is a contributor to the Lantern Institute

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