President Jokowi at IMO Forum: Im Committed to Making Indonesia Global Maritime Fulcrum
President Joko Jokowi Widodo on Tuesday (19/4) local time delivered his speech before the participants of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) forum at the building of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in London, the United Kingdom.
At the beginning of his remarks, President Jokowi extended his gratitude for the invitation to speak at the forum.
Since the beginning of my administration, I have given a special attention to maritime issues, the President said, adding that for Indonesia, oceans have important historical, economical and geopolitical meanings and Indonesians have long been known as a seafaring people.
Several aspects of Indonesias economy depend on maritime resources and sea trade. Now we are also at the center of the world economic and political gravity, as the fulcrum of two oceans, the Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean, President Jokowi said.
As what the President often says on many occasions, Indonesia has long turned its back on the seas. In fact, he added, the real Indonesias identity is a maritime nation.
We are the biggest archipelagic nation in the world and two third of our territorial is sea. Our seas are also rich in maritime resources, fish, gas, oil and biodiversity, the President said.
The administration that he leads, the President added, is committed to making Indonesia a Global Maritime Fulcrum, restoring the motto Jalesveva Jayamahe (At sea we are victorious) and returning to the identity of the country as a maritime nation.
We will build maritime infrastructures, protect our maritime resources against illegal and destructive exploitation, make the most of our marine wealth for our peoples, maintain security and safety of the seas as the veins of the global trade and preserve the seas for our grandchildren and for the world, the President said.
Indonesia consists of more than 17,000 islands united by seas, according to the President.
Building sea connectivity between islands, which I call Sea Toll Development, is a necessity and we realize that by building new sea ports, upgrading the already existing sea ports and adding passengers and logistics ships, as well as modernizing the management of seaports, President Jokowi said.
The Government makes all those measures, the President added, to accelerate and evenly spread Indonesias economic growth and make Indonesias economy more efficient and competitive.
Initially, many sides are pessimistic with this plan; however, the President said that the infrastructure development has been underway.
Since 2015, we have built 27 new sea ports. We are also building 68 more seaports scattered in Maluku, Papua, East Nusa Tenggara, and Sulawesi. Currently, we are also adding 200 patrol, passengers, livestock, navigation and logistic ships, President Jokowi said.
The development of maritime infrastructures, the President added, is an important part of the efforts to restore the identity of Indonesia as a maritime nation.
At the same time, we are also focused on strengthening the pillars of the Global Maritime Fulcrum, namely maritime culture, maritime resources, maritime diplomacy, and maritime security and defense, the President said.
Especially about maritime resources, President Jokowi asserted that the Government would continue to take a firm action against and not tolerate illegal fishing acts in Indonesian waters because those practices violate Indonesias sovereignty and sovereign rights and also destroy sea environment in Indonesian waters.
What Indonesia has been doing, the President said, is also part of the international responsibility that must be implemented.
We realize that the use of maritime resources must be done sustainably for the sake of the prosperity of our peoples. We realize that it is our responsibility as global citizens to preserve the seas. We also realize that as a power between two oceans, we are obliged to take part in maintaining the safety of the shipping, the President said.
In this context, the President said, Indonesia considers that IMO plays an important role and it is also important for Indonesia to be a member of the IMO as the UN agency overseeing the issues of shipping safety and security, prevention of sea pollution and ensuring that international shipping as an important element for the growth of the sustainable global economy can run well and base on the framework of the regulations that are jointly approved.
Our strategic position between two oceans and as the fulcrum of the global shipping route, is an important factor in maintaining security and safety of international shipping navigation, especially in the sea intersection that links West-East trade routes and North- South trade routes, where more than 60,000 ships trespass our seas every year, the President added.
President Jokowi added that as a country with the second biggest number of sailors, Indonesia is also committed to continue taking an active role in implementing maritime training and education.
With around 575,000 sailors that we have, we have fulfilled a number of international requirements though training and education as well as through technical cooperation with IMO, President Jokowi said.
Currently, the President added, Indonesia has also been active in the cooperation with IMO to realize clean seas.
Last year, we ratified the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments (BWM) 2015, the President said.
Especially about prevention of sea pollution, the President added, Indonesia continues to push for formulations of better and more comprehensive international regulations.
Specifically, I would like to remind you all that sea pollution can also be caused by exploration and exploitation of offshore oil rigs. We currently do not have yet a regulation that regulates responsibilities and compensation for the cross-border pollution caused by those activities, President said.
President Jokowi further said that Indonesia has taken an initiative to propose international regulations to address this problem.
Indonesia considers that the future of the welfare of the world depends on how we manage the seas and we can achieve that by preserving seas, which belongs to us, to all nations, through international cooperation, especially through IMO, President Jokowi said, concluding his remarks.
Also attending the forum were Coordinating Minister for the Economy Darmin Nasution, Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi, Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Susi Pudjiastuti, Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung, and Minister of Trade Thomas Lembong. (UN/EN) (Naster/YM/EP)