Press Statement of President of the Republic of Indonesia After the Closing Ceremony of the Archipelagic and Island States Forum Summit, October 11, 2023

By Office of Assistant to Deputy Cabinet Secretary for State Documents & Translation     Date 11 Oktober 2023
Category: Press Statement @en
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Good afternoon,

I often reiterate that the world is not in good condition. The threats from climate change such as sea level rise and marine pollution by debris and waste are real. We can feel the impacts of climate change that threatens not only the sustainability of marine, but also the sovereignty and territorial unity of the country.

The AIS Summit is one of Indonesia’s commitments to collaborating at a higher level to become an international organization to provide concrete steps in dealing with regional and global issues, as well as in continuing to voice the interests of developing countries and archipelagic states.

The AIS Summit has agreed to uphold the principles of solidarity, equality, and inclusiveness as the common ground for collaboration. Developing countries and archipelagic states share the same right to progress and develop. To that end, collaboration and unity of archipelagic and island states are essential to grow together and to address challenges. Indonesia as a maritime country will continue to be in the front line to support AIS Forum as an inclusive collaboration of archipelagic and island states.

Indonesia is also committed to providing grants to address climate change, innovative development, and sustainable marine governance. Such collaborations have also provided benefits for the coastal communities by providing scholarships, funding collective research, developing AIS Startup Hub, training SMEs digitation, developing innovative funding, as well as providing strategic benefits regarding marine carbon accounting and mangrove forest conservation.

For Indonesia, the ocean does not separate us but instead serves as a unifier and a connector. Therefore, through AIS Forum, Indonesia invites all countries to continue maintaining unity and collaboration, even amid a divided world because collaboration is the key to progress.

That concludes my statement. Thank you.

Journalist of TVRI Bali (Galuh Purba)

Good afternoon, Pak. I am Galuh Purba from TVRI Bali. During the AIS Summit, Indonesia led archipelagic and island states to be in synergy in efforts to develop innovations that you have just said to address global challenges, particularly on climate change and plastic debris. What is the real effort to take and what is the direct benefit for the Indonesian people? Thank you.

President of the Republic of Indonesia

I think I will answer your question. Archipelagic and island states are susceptible to the impacts of climate change. Therefore, the states need innovations, technology, and AIS Forum boosts the development of innovations covering four areas, namely mitigation and adaptation, blue economy implementation, marine ecosystem protection, and progress of marine good governance. For archipelagic states, those areas bring benefits for the community because marine is the source of life, particularly fishermen and innovation to be implemented. I think that’s the most important thing.

Journalist of NHK Japan (Ito)

Good afternoon Mr. President. I am Ito from NHK Japan. I’d like to ask about Indonesia’s initiative for this forum. Recently, especially Pacific Island countries, major powers are trying to increase their influence. Admitting this situation, Indonesia is one of the global house leaders. How do you feel about the importance of Indonesia’s initiative to promote cooperation among the countries? Thank you.

President of the Republic of Indonesia

At the time, when many parties chose rivalry, Indonesia chose to promote cooperation and collaboration that is inclusive with many countries as possible. At the time, when many parties opted for long discussions, Indonesia chose concrete cooperation whose benefits can be felt immediately by the people. This is an initiative whose purpose is none other than to create an Indo-Pacific region that is peaceful, prosperous, and stable because what we want is to grow together, to progress together, and to prosper together.

Journalist of Kompas (Mahdi)

Thank you, Bapak President. I am Mahdi from Kompas. I have two questions for you ….

President of the Republic of Indonesia

Just one question, please.

Journalist of Kompas (Mahdi)

Yes, Pak. Just one question. About the concept of blue economy, Pak President. In recent years, we have been talking about green economy which has caused a tight tug-of-war among developed and underdeveloped countries. As a leader on AIS Forum, how can Indonesia ensure that the blue economy concept really relates to archipelagic and island states, including Indonesia? Thank you, Pak.

President of the Republic of Indonesia

Yes. The potential of blue economy is huge in our country as well as in archipelagic and island states. It must be utilized to be sustainable and to become pillars of growth and people’s prosperity. Therefore, collaboration is essential to implement based on principle that marine must be a sustainable and equitable source of life.

I have discussed with leaders of other archipelagic and island states, including presidents and prime ministers, about the policy they have implemented. AIS Forum has agreed, as I mentioned before, that solidarity, equality, and inclusiveness are our collective foundations. Therefore, collaboration is essential to implement based on principle that marine is the source of life.

Minister of Foreign Affairs (Retno Marsudi)

Thank you, Bapak President. I just want to comment that usually there will be a question about the main result of the first Summit in the context of AIS Forum. Thus, the Summit has produced a declaration namely Solidarity of the Archipelagic and Island States Forum.

The next question is about the content of the Declaration. There are two big issues of the Declaration, namely first, the leaders have agreed to enhance collaboration in the context of AIS Forum which is more charter-based to build an international organization. In this regard, the leaders have assigned their ministers and senior officials to begin the discussion about the roadmap and issues of modality.

The second issue is the points that Bapak President mentioned before, about priorities of future collaboration. There are four priorities in the Declaration. The first is mitigation and climate change. The second is bule economy. There was a question about blue economy. So, blue economy is there as one of the priorities and also ecotourism. Ecotourism was much discussed during the Summit. The third is addressing marine and coastal debris issues. And the fourth is good maritime governance.

This Forum is different from other Forums which are more top-down. Meanwhile, in this Forum, if you saw the opening ceremony, there appeared community-based videos that come from the bottom, the collaborations touch on the interest of the people. And, during the lunch session we invited two briefers to perform, namely a group of young innovators and a group of young people who have new ideas in dealing with climate change. Thus, when we talk about inclusiveness, we walk the talk, that we are inclusive community based of bottom-up and covering all stakeholders.

Minister of Environment and Forestry (Siti Nurbaya)

Allow me to speak, Bapak President. My fellow journalists, I would like to tell you that one of the AIS Forum side events relates to forestry. In this context, further discussion emerged on the alertness of forest utilization to control critical climate change as Bapak President mentioned before.

Then, during the side event, we also had a discussion about the awareness of forests. In this context, it is mangroves in AIS members. We can see that, for example, Indonesia has 120 million hectares, Papua New Guinea has 36 million hectares, Suriname has 18 million hectares, and the Philippines has 8 million hectares. These countries have lots of forests, and this issue can be the initial discussion for future COP28.

Mangroves subsequently becomes an intensive discussion because when we talk about forests in an archipelago, the issue will relate to coastal areas, lands, and mangroves. Bapak President, we would like to report to you that yesterday some ministers visited our G20 mangrove. The Ministers from Seychelles and Sao Tome said that they would learn about mangroves, and basically, we will discuss and continue to develop mangrove. This is the beginning and we have initiated.

Thank you, Bapak President.  

(GA/EP)

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