Two ministers lead beach cleaning action in Kuta

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Kuta, Bali, (ANTARA News) – Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti and Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi led the beach cleaning action at Kuta Beach, Bali, Saturday (Oct 27) which is one of the Our Ocean Conference (OOC) program series.

“We have protected the sea from Illegal, Unreported, Unregulated Fishing. Now what we see as pollution in the sea is garbage. I call on all people to stop using plastic,” Susi said before starting the action.

She added that Indonesia could emulate some small countries in Africa that have not used plastic any more.

“So, from now on there is no more plastic bottle in the office. Drink water from gallons with a tumbler. Can we do it? We can say our sea is our future, so don`t make it dirty,” Susi said.

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said the action to clean the beach was a small contribution but could inspire people to clean the beach from plastic waste.

“The sea is not a trash can. Our ocean is our life, so love your sea like loving your life,” Retno said.

She added that the spirit of the National Youth Oath Day which falls on October 28 is commemorated with the spirit of unity and cooperation, and it would be brought to the 5th OOC held on October 29-30, 2018 in Bali.

Earlier, the two ministers along with several ambassadors of fellow countries have released 1,000 hatchlings on Kuta Beach.

Elementary school student Nafisnu Canggah Sangidu took part in beach cleaning action. He said he only got six pieces of garbage.

“Today I only get little garbage because the beach has been cleaned this morning,” he said, adding that he had participated in the action for three times.

The 5th OOC in Bali has six areas of actions, namely, marine protected areas, climate change, sustainable fisheries, marine pollution, sustainable blue economy, and maritime security.

At the 2017 Our Ocean hosted by the European Union in Malta, Indonesia announced that the country would establish 200,000 square kilometers of conservation areas by 2018, covering 6.5 percent of Indonesian waters.

In addition, Indonesia announced it would restore the 18,882 square meters damaged coral reefs in the Dampier Strait off Raja Ampat (West Papua, Indonesia).

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Sydney Declaration affirms Asean-Australia relationship

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Asian Correspondent, AUSTRALIA and the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) issued a joint statement on Sunday, asserting shared commitment to cooperation in trade, cybersecurity, counterterrorism and the adoption of a code of conduct for the South China Sea.

Named the Sydney Declaration and issued at the culmination of the Asean-Australia Special Summit from March 16 to 18, the document declares a “new era” in the “increasingly close” relationship between the regional bloc and its southern neighbour.

Commerce and counterterrorism were the two major themes of the Summit – which was the first time representatives from all 10 member states have met in Australia – and saw the announcement of a raft of new joint initiatives.

With a combined GDP of US$2.5 trillion in 2016, Asean represents the world’s sixth largest economy and Australia’s fourth largest trading partner with total trade worth US$93.2 billion in 2016.

Professor John Blaxland, Director of the Australian National University (ANU) Southeast Asia Institute and Head of Strategic & Defence Studies Centre told Asian Correspondent that the Summit marked a “serious inflection point” for Australian policymaking.

“Southeast Asia is fundamental to Australia’s security,” said Blaxland. “There is now a bipartisan recognition that we’ve got to take Asean more seriously … especially as the circumstances in our neighbourhood have become more troubled.”

Counterterrorism and the South China Sea

The Sydney Declaration declared a “strong commitment to regional peace and security as well as peaceful resolution of disputes”, noting the need for freedom of navigation, specifically in the South China Sea, as well as calling upon North Korea to comply with UN Security Council resolutions.

It called for the “early conclusion” of a code of conduct for the South China Sea, leading an article published in the Chinese state-run newspaper Global Times on Monday to argue that “Australia risks damaging its own interests” if it speaks out against Beijing.

The Sydney Declaration also reasserted cooperation between law enforcement, customs and immigration on countering transnational crime issues including trafficking of drugs, arms and wildlife.

A memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed between Australia and Asean on “Combating terrorism and violent extremism” announced workshops on detection and prosecution of online terror crimes and greater intelligence sharing on terrorist financing.

Five months after the siege of Marawi in the Southern Philippines, in which Islamic State-inspired militants fought Philippines security forces resulting in hundreds of deaths, the MOU announced the “establishment of a series of regional dialogues and forums with Asean and Australian law enforcement partners, aimed at combatting the threat of ISIL-affiliated terrorists.”

“Counterterrorism and commerce are two areas that are easy to discuss,” former intelligence expert for the Australian Defence Department and a Visiting Professor at the ANU College of Law, Clive Williams, told Asian Correspondent.

“Some of the counterterrorism ideas are good and sensible, but I can see some problems with this,” he said, stating that Asean states each have differing definitions of terrorism, “so coming up with a regional approach would be difficult.” In cases such as Thailand’s deep south or the southern Philippines, members of separatist movements are automatically deemed terrorists, said Williams.

“Of the five Asean countries with security problems, three (Thailand, the Philippines, Burma) have problems of their own making. We (Australia) would say ‘if you had better policies then you wouldn’t have these problems’,” he said.

Yet if Australia had concerns about human rights in the region, they were not broadcast, instead raised with respective leaders behind closed doors.

“Regarding human rights in Asean, for sure it’s not easy to discuss,” said Arisman, the Executive Director of the Centre for Southeast Asian Studies (CSEAS) in Jakarta. “In Asean we’re used to consensus and respecting the nation-state.”

Trade and building Asean

The Sydney Declaration also said that as “highly trade-oriented economies”, Asean and Australia were committed to “resisting all forms of protectionism” and to “free and open markets”. Turnbull reportedly declared that there were “no protectionists around the table” at Asean at the conclusion of the summit.

While this is not entirely true in practice, said Dr Sanchita Basu Das of the Asean Studies Centre a research fellow at the Asean Studies Centre at ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute in Singapore, it sends an important message amid the “global environment at the moment.”

“The summit took place just after President Trump’s announcement about the introduction of tariffs,” she said, noting the importance of Asean-Australia not buying into rhetoric of a trade war. “They were telling people we want free and open trade. At least saying that loudly and clearly is very important at this juncture.”

Digital trade and entrepreneurship was emphasised in the Sydney Declaration, with Arisman stating that Australia could assist the less developed countries in Asean to develop their cyber capabilities and infrastructure. “Australia looks at Indonesia as one of the big markets for the digital economy,” he added.

On Sunday night, the Australian government announced the Asean-Australia Infrastructure Co-operation initiative aimed at creating a pipeline for private and public funds for projects across the region, in what may be seen as a counter to China’s ambitious Belt and Road initiative.

“Australia seen as one of the leading countries for public-private partnerships and in big infrastructure projects in the country itself,” said Sanchita, who said the country could provide significant ongoing assistance in terms of Asean integration.

Four new educational initiatives to boost Asean-Australia engagement were also announced, including a regional dialogue involving academics and business leaders focused on skills required for infrastructure development.

Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs said the education initiatives would help build more “practical and meaningful partnerships” between “emerging leaders”.

Around 100,000 Southeast Asians are studying in Australia, representing around 1 in 5 of all international students there. Professor Blaxland said that to date, they have been viewed as a disaggregated population, however altogether Asean students are just as important as Indians or Chinese in terms of international student numbers.

More broadly, he said the wide-ranging focus of the Sydney Declaration “points to the breadth and depth of the relationship now”.

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ASEAN discusses management of ocean plastics

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VietnamNews,Jakarta (VNA) : A two-day forum on policy and initiatives to manage marine plastic pollution in ASEAN member countries opened in Jakarta, Indonesia, on December 5.

The forum attracted over 100 participants from Indonesian ministries, ASEAN research institutes, the ASEAN Secretariat, and non-governmental organisations.

Discussion was set to focus on current situation and impacts of ocean plastics, and regional collaboration and initiatives related to the issue. The event looked to put forth recommendations for policy making to reduce marine pollution in Southeast Asia.

Addressing the regional forum, deputy head of the German Mission to ASEAN Hendrik Barkeling said inland plastics dumped into the sea will increase if economies continue expansion without proper urban waste management.

The amount of marine plastics was forecast to double in 2025.

Arif Havas Oegroseno, Indonesian Deputy Coordinating Minister of Maritime Affairs and Resources, said the Indonesian Government is working to curb plastic pollution at sea, adding that tough measures might be employed to punish agencies and firms violating regulations on marine environment protection.

In an interview with the Vietnam News Agency, deputy head of the Norwegian Mission to ASEAN Hilde Solbakken lauded the organisation of the event, as marine pollution is now a pressing issue in the world. She noted ocean plastics threaten the growth of the fishery sector. She said that the Norwegian Government is carrying out measures to limit the dumping of plastics into the sea and recover the marine environment, adding that 80 percent of the work was done.

The ASEAN has a coastline spanning 173,000 km.-VNA

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Masyarakat Komunitas Asean Gelar Bersih Pantai Tanjung Pasir

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Netz.id, Jakarta : Masyarakat Komunitas Asean gelar bersih-bersih di Pantai Tanjung Pasir, Tangerang, 6 Desember 2017. Sasarannya adalah sampah-sampah plastik yang dapat merusak ekosistem laut.

Menurut Direktur Direktorat Pembangunan Berkelanjutan Sekretariat Asean, Ky-Anh Nguyen, tingginya pertumbuhan ekonomi di negara Asean sebabkan produksi dan konsumsi juga meningkat tinggi. Hal ini menimbulkan tantangan bagi masyarakat Asean dalam mengelola sampah.

“Target kita adalah mengedukasi masyakat Asean untuk lebih peduli kepada lingkungan khususnya dampak penggunaan plastik terhadap perairan laut,” ujar Ky-Anh Nguyen.

Dalam kegiatan ini, ‘bule-bule’ juga antusias membantu membersihkan pesisir pantai. “Saya partisipatif untuk membantu (kebersihan lingkungan). Meskipun terlihat sedikit, tetapi saya harap bisa mendorong masyarakat lokal untuk aktif membantu. Apalagi saya bule,” ujar Berthold Seibert, peserta asal Jerman yang bekerja di Filipina.

Dalam kegiatan ini turut serta perwakilan dari Kementerian Kelautan dan Perikanan, Bakamla, TNI AL, LSM peduli lingkungan, mahasiswa, hingga akademisi. Bersih-bersih pantai selama kurang lebih 2 jam oleh 48 orang ini, berhasil kumpulkan 31.5 Kilogram sampah yang terdiri dari sampah berbahan plastik, puntung rokok, hingga sandal.

FARABI FERDIANSYAH

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Indonesia Ingin Kurangi Sampah Plastik di Laut Hingga 70 Persen

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Metrotvnews.com, Jakarta: Indonesia berkeinginan untuk mengurangi 70 persen sampah plastik di laut pada 2025 mendatang. Pernyataan ini diucapkan oleh Deputi Menteri Bidang Kedaulatan Maritim Kementerian Koordinasi Kemaritiman Indonesia, Havas Oegroseno.

Kurangnya dana menjadi penghalang untuk mewujudkan tujuan tersebut.

“Tolak ukur internasional untuk pengolahan limbah pada adalah USD50 (setara Rp678 ribu) per orang setiap tahunnya, namun di pemerintah lokal Indonesia, pengelolaan limbah padat hanya USD6 (sekitar Rp81 ribu) per orang per tahun,” seru Havas, saat ditemui dalam forum ‘Managing Marine Plastic Pollution: Policy Initiatives in ASEAN Countries’, di Hotel Le Meridien, Jakarta, Selasa, 5 Desember 2017.

Menurut dia, mengubah cara pandang masyarakat untuk tidak membuang sampah di laut bisa saja di lakukan. Sayangnya, tak ada fasilitas atau tempat sampah yang tersedia.

Karenanya, dia ingin pemerintah dan sektor swasta bekerja sama dalam upaya mengurangi sampah plastik.

“Mungkin kita dapat berhasil mengubah cara pandang masyarakat menangani limbah plastik di laut dengan kampanye untuk tidak membuang sampah-sampah itu. Namun, ketika mereka ingin buang sampah, tak ada tempat yang tersedia. Hal ini disebabkan kurangnya dana untuk membangun tempat agar sampah-sampah itu bisa didaur ulang,” imbuhnya.

Dia mengharapkan pihak swasta, yang juga merupakan penyumbang sampah plastik dengan produk mereka yang dibungkus plastik, untuk membantu penyelesaian ini. Salah satunya dengan menyumbangkan dana.

Indonesia merupakan negara kedua terbesar penyumbang sampah plastik di dunia, berada di bawah Tiongkok. Menurut data Bank Dunia pada 2017, sampah plastik terbesar yang ada di dunia adalah pampers dan pembalut, sebesar 21 persen, diikuti kantong plastik sebanyak 16 persen, kemudian ikuti kemasan plastik, botol plastik, dan berbagai bentuk plastik lainnya.

(FJR)

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Sustainable water management key to development of Mekong River

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Vietnam News, Jakarta : The Centre for Southeast Asian Studies (CSEAS) held a conference on sustainable water management for Mekong River in Jakarta, Indonesia, on September 27.

The conference introduced potential projects and recommended measures to tackle pollution and resource depletion in the river.

CSEAS Executive Director Dr. Arisman said the unsustainable use of water resources by upstream countries can harm nations in downstream areas, particularly rice producers like Thailand and Vietnam.

He suggested member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) join hands to protect the river and make its sustainable management part of the agendas of their meetings.

Participating experts discussed challenges to the sustainable management of the Mekong River’s water source, including development gaps among nations, integration levels, environmental issues, and climate change.

They also discussed several solutions, such as building a far-reaching action plan and increasing cooperation in dealing with climate change and natural disasters.

With a total length of about 4,800 km, the Mekong River runs through China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.-VNA

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Warnings issued on about impact of new dams

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The Jakarta Post, Jakarta: Experts warned on Wednesday countries building or planning to construct hydroelectric dams on the Mekong River that the developments could cause environmental damage, threats to food security and possible conflicts.

Speaking at the Regional Workshop on Sustainable Water Resource Management in the Mekong River: Human Security and Regional Stability in South east Asia held in Jakarta, the experts said they believed China, which is one of six countries through which the river passes, and ASEAN could reduce the negative impacts and avoid possible crisis in the region. “China is the [most] important actor. ASEAN could also contribute to settle it,” Muhammad Riefqi Muna of the Indonesian Institute of Sciences said in the seminar organized by the Center for Southeast Asian Studies.

Although China and the members of ASEAN have different political systems, Riefqi suggested the countries consider involving their people in their national developments, including the construction of dams. “Now, sovereignty is not only in the hands of the government, but also in the people. Public participation is important in every aspect of the development,” he added. Besides China, the other fivecountries passed by the 4,350 kilometer-long river are Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand, which are all members of the ASEAN bloc. The countries are constructing dozens of dams and proposing more to cope with an increasing need for electricity.

The booming hydropower project construction raises concerns over the environment and rice production, as well as for local fishermen. Indonesia imports rice from Thailand and Vietnam. Researcher Huijian Wu of the
Institute of Water Policy at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore, said the construction of hydropower plants have irreversible negative impacts on their ecosystems and the livelihoods of the rural poor. Wu revealed a survey of the poor living in villages around the area of the Lower Sesan Dam, which was being constructed in Cambodia at a total cost of US$861 million and was expected
to be completed next year.

She said more than 20 percent of residents in the survey, which was conducted in June last year, rejected relocating for various reasons, including the small com pensation and a lack of health, educational and economic facilities in the new homes. In the interviews, the residents expressed their feelings, such as anger, fear, frustration, disappointment at being ignored, loss of confidence, isolation, anxiety and depression over their future because of the existence of the dam, she said.

Meanwhile, researcher Margareth Sembiring of the Center for Non-Traditional Security Studies at the Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University Singapore, said the negative social impacts and environmental damages could lead to crossborder conflicts. “Strong cooperation among the countries is needed. The nations should be committed more to advanced technology and support for their local farmers and fishermen,” Margareth said in the seminar.

However, a participant from Thailand said it was regretful that none of the seminar speakers were from the countries through which the Mekong River flows. “It would be good to have them speak at the seminar,” she said. She said the countries should choose between the need for elec tricity by the majority of the people and the interests of minority groups.

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Pentingnya Menjaga Stabilitas Sungai Mekong

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Metrotvnews.com, Jakarta: Kawasan yang dilalui Sungai Mekong mulai dari Tiongkok, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Kamboja dan Vietnam perlu dijaga stabilitasnya. Penjagaan stabilitas itu penting karena dapat memengaruhi aspek keamanan di kawasan Asia Tenggara.

Ancaman keamanan muncul mulai dari yang sifatnya menyentuh sekitar 80 juta warga yang tergantung kepada sungai Mekong tersebut. Seperti jalur perdagangan sungai, perikanan dan pertanian. Ancaman juga datang dari adanya berbagai proyek pembangunan seperti bendungan.

Demikian salah satu pandangan yang muncul dari Regional Workshop on Sustainable Water Resource Management in Mekong River: Human Security and Regional Stability in Southeast Asia pada Rabu 27 September 2017 di Jakarta. Workshop yang dihadiri diplomat mancanegara, pejabat pemerintahan, mahasiswa dan kalangan aktivis ini, diselenggarakan Center for Southeast Asian Studies Indonesia (CSASI)

Kurt Mørck Jensen dari Kedutaan Besar Denmark menjelaskan, banyak kepentingan di kawasan ini seperti Laos untuk pertanian, perikanan dan jalur perdagangan. Demikian juga Thailand untuk jalur perdagangan dan pertanian seperti halnya kepentingan Kamboja dan Vietnam

Kerjasama juga sudah dilakukan seperti melalui Mekong River Commission (MRC) sejak 1995, kata Kurt. Namun menurut Banyu Perwita dari President University, keputusan MRC ini tidak mengikat. Ke depan agar bisa memberikan kekuatan untuk menjaga keamanan sekitar kawasan Sungai Mekong maka forum ini harus membuat keputusan yang mengikat.

Sementara Riefqi Mauna, Peneliti dari LIPI, menyoroti sumber-sumber ketidakstabilan dari persepsi yang berbeda antara human security dan state security. Jika negara di sekitarnya hanya mementingkan dirinya tanpa memerhatikan keamanan warganya, maka Sungai Mekong akan menjadi sumber masalah baru.

Margareth Sembiring, peneliti dari Rajaratnam School of International Studies memberikan contoh adanya sumber kerusakan lingkungan yang disebabkan pembangunan seperti bendungan. Maka jika lingkungan rusak akan memengaruhi pertanian, perikanan bahkan kualitas air. Akhirnya terjadilah masalah regional seperti krisis makanan dan konflik antar perbatasan.

(DHI)

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Experts Find New Solutions to South China Sea Dispute

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AIS(edited)

The Jakarta Post, Tue, September 6 2016 – With prevailing international legal measures producing stalemate and tension in the South China Sea (SCS), ASEAN and Indonesian experts are looking for innovative solutions to reach stable peace in the disputed waters.

Many regional and global options were discussed during the 2nd High Level International Workshop on Thursday, but particular attention was given to a proposal by Donald Rothwell, head of the Law School at the Australian National University and an expert on international maritime law, who suggested the formation of a new SCS commission.

This was seen as the most promising solution because all claimant states, particularly China, are more likely to respect the authority of an intergovernmental body that is not based at The Hague.

“The main criticisms emanating from this region is that current international law reflects a Eurocentric approach,” Rothwell said.

By setting up a new institution in the East, he said China would be more open to changing its view that external tribunals “lacked jurisdiction” — outlined in its December 2014 Position Paper and in its response to the Annex VII ruling in July.

Rothwell said the commission would comprise 15 regional and international members. All claimant states will be represented, namely Brunei, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, China and Vietnam. The remaining nine states consist of other non-claimant states in the region such as Singapore, Australia, Myanmar and Thailand.

Rothwell included Indonesia as a claimant state, although the country has repeatedly positioned itself as a non-claimant state.

Indonesia’s neutrality is now being questioned due to the increasing number of fishery conflicts involving Indonesia, said Haryo Budi Nugroho, an advisor to the Special Envoy to the President of the Republic of Indonesia for Maritime Delimitation.

“This neutrality has been called into question even though Indonesia fails to meet the traditional definition of a claimant state — a party that claims a right to a piece of land, a portion of the maritime waters or an island in the SCS,” he said.
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“China’s refusal to cooperate would automatically dismiss any case brought forward.”

Haryo added that Indonesia had evolved into something like a claimant state during the prolonged dispute.

Rothwell suggested that the commission have jurisdiction over subjects that no single UNCLOS dispute resolution mechanism covered. The subjects encompass land and maritime disputes, sovereignty over islands, rocks, reefs and low-tide elevations, maritime boundaries and entitlement to maritime features.

Although the International Court of Justice covers all these subjects, it requires both parties to give formal consent, he said.

“China’s refusal to cooperate would automatically dismiss any case brought forward,” he added.

Operating in three stages and in consultation with technical experts, the SCS Commission would have a “mediation capacity through the role of the commission president” that triggers a conciliation (non-binding) process if mediation fails and finally activates an arbitration (binding) if conciliation fails.

“All stages are to occur in a set time-frame to ensure a quick resolution,” Rothwell said.

Another possible solution was expressed by foreign policy observer Veeramalla Anjaiah, who called on China to forfeit its claim over the SCS through its “nine-dash line”.

“It starts and ends with China,” he said. “The ‘nine-dash line’ is the mother of all disputes.”

Meanwhile, Connie Rahakundini Bakrie suggested increasing the “regionalization of security” by increasing Indonesia’s naval capabilities through cooperation with Australia.

“By creating four fleets, Indonesia can replace external parties like the United States in the role of maintaining peace and order. As a Non-Aligned Movement member Indonesia is less likely to antagonize China,” said Connie, chairwoman of the Indonesian Institute for Maritime Studies.

Currently, Indonesia has a Western Fleet and an Eastern Fleet with a proposed Central Fleet. Connie also proposed the formation of a Pacific Fleet.

However, Rothwell went against Connie’s idea, saying that while a regional approach was necessary, expanding militarization would only increase tensions.

Siswo Pramono, head of the Foreign Ministry’s Policy Analysis and Development Agency, agreed, and said that “every effort to demilitarize the region would be beneficial”.

“ASEAN’s tendency to meet with one another before talking to external parties” is an essential part of the “quiet diplomacy [that] is central to how ASEAN works,” he said.

By using quiet diplomacy, Siswo said ASEAN nations could avoid misunderstandings that could escalate tensions.

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Maritime Security Issues Generate Ghallenges, Opportunities in Asia

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AIS(edited)

VNA, August 23, 2016 – An international symposium took place at Shangri-La Hotel in Jakarta, Indonesia, on August 22 to look into maritime security in Asia, along with challenges and opportunities for peace, stability and sustainability.

At the three panel discussions, scholars analysed current maritime security challenges, especially in the East Sea where China has ramped up activities threatening peace, security and stability in the region.

They underscored the need to comply with the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea so as to resolve sea-related security challenges, thereby helping maintain peace, stability and sustainable development.

Many opinions shared the view that as ASEAN is an important stakeholder in the East Sea issue, the bloc’s member nations should promote their cooperation and optimise such frameworks as the ASEAN Regional Forum and the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting.

They called on the regional countries to actively settle East Sea disputes through peaceful negotiations, which will also help ASEAN affirm its central role and growing stature in the world.

At the symposium, participants also talked about ASEAN cooperation in fisheries, disaster prevention, navigation and customs.

The event was held following The Hague tribunal’s ruling on the East Sea-related lawsuit filed by the Philippines against China.

Arif Havas Oegroseno, Indonesia’s Deputy Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Resources, told Vietnam News Agency that ASEAN nations which are involved in East Sea disputes need to take stronger actions by making clear commitments on conduct in the waters.

Sea-related matters are mentioned in legal documents, and countries who violate them can be sued if they are parties to commitments stated in international law on the sea, he added.

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