The AIS Forum Summit Shows the Strength of Indonesia’s Leadership in the Eyes of the World
The Archipelagic and Island States (AIS) Forum is a concrete cooperation platform that was formed to accommodate island and island countries throughout the world to jointly overcome the challenges and problems they face, especially in the marine development sector. Indonesia held an AIS Forum High Level Conference (Summit) in Bali on October 11 2023 which was attended by heads of state/heads of government from AIS Forum participating countries.
The 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 51 island and archipelagic countries, regardless of area, size or level of development.
Assistant Deputy for Delimitation of Maritime Zones and Border Areas at the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Sora Lokita, said that Indonesia has many best practices , which can create a global movement where solutions to the problems of island and archipelagic countries can be mobilized from all over the world. The hope is that this movement will become more massive and ultimately island and archipelagic countries can face challenges together.
Seeing the importance of solutions to the problems of island and archipelagic countries, Assistant Deputy Sora emphasized the target of the AIS Forum Summit, namely as a forum for aspirations and hopes that prioritize the interests of the people of the country itself.
Apart from that, the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries is collaborating with the Ministry of Communication and Information to work together in glorifying this international event. Through a media briefing held by Kominfo, the Director General (Dirjen) of Information and Public Communication of the Ministry of Communication and Informatics, Usman Kansong, said that Indonesia is trusted to hold some of the largest international forums in the world and this shows the world’s trust in Indonesia’s leadership, including the Summit. AIS Forum 2023 aims 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.
In the past four years, the AIS Forum has also formed the AIS Startup Hub which is a forum for startups in AIS member countries to collaborate and network. The Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Luhut, said that Indonesia is committed to increasing its funding contribution to USD 5 million or around Rp. 77.6 billion by 2022. These funds will be used to fund AIS Forum programs for the next 5 years. Financial contributions from Indonesia have been used effectively to build the AIS Forum, implement various cooperation programs, and strengthen concrete collaboration between member countries.
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 cooperation in Fiji in the form of 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.
Meanwhile, Senior Advisor for Climate Governance UNDP Indonesia, Abdul Wahib Situmorang, explained the importance of the presence of the AIS Forum for Indonesia and other island or archipelagic countries. As an island and archipelago country, the sea is the backbone, not only for the country’s economy but also part of the lives of the people who live in it. Therefore, it is very important to protect the sea and use the sea sustainably. The holding of the 2023 AIS Forum Summit deserves full support from all levels of society. The success of this event adds to Indonesia’s long list of successes in holding international events, as well as demonstrating Indonesia’s leadership on the world stage.