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Archipelagic and Island States Forum 2023 Set to Begin in Bali, Indonesia

The Archipelagic and Island States Forum (AIS Forum) 2023 in Bali, Indonesia, from October 10th to 11th, fosters collaboration among island nations to address global marine challenges.

The theme is “Fostering Collaboration, Enabling Innovation for Our Ocean and Our Future,” focusing on the blue economy, climate change, and solidarity among island nations.

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INDONESIA – The highly anticipated Archipelagic and Island States Forum (AIS Forum) 2023 is all set to take place in Bali, Indonesia, from October 10th to 11th, 2023.

AIS Forum, which stands for the Archipelagic and Island States Forum, serves as a platform for collaboration among island nations worldwide, with the primary goal of strengthening cooperation to address global challenges, particularly those related to marine development.

Quoting the website indonesia.go.id, this year, AIS Forum 2023 adopts the theme “Fostering Collaboration, Enabling Innovation for Our Ocean and Our Future.”

The meeting’s agenda will focus on three crucial aspects: blue economy development, climate change challenges, and the enhancement of solidarity among island and archipelago nations.

Assistant Deputy Minister of the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs and Investment, Sora Lokita, emphasized the significance of Indonesia’s active role in the AIS Forum.

“This is a tangible representation of Indonesia’s idea and initiative. We lead and strive to make this a positive contribution from Indonesia to the global stage, especially concerning maritime issues,” stated Sora Lokita.

Indonesia’s involvement in the AIS Forum stems from its active participation in international diplomacy related to global maritime issues, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) in 1982, which reinforced the archipelagic state principle.

Director General of Information and Public Communication (IGIPC) of the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (MCIT), Usman Kansong, explained the AIS Forum 2023 is expected to draw participants from 51 island and archipelago nations, with a target of 25 head-of-state/government representatives and 30 to 47 ministerial-level representatives.

The event will also be attended by leaders from nine international organizations, including the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF), Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG), the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Furthermore, the forum will witness the presence of leaders from intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations such as the United Nations (UN), World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA).

Delegations from participating countries have already begun arriving in Bali.

Seychelles’ Minister of Fisheries and Blue Economy, Jean Francois Gabriel Ferrari, was the first foreign dignitary to arrive at Ngurah Rai International Airport on Saturday (7 Oct).

He was welcomed by Basilio Dias Araujo, Advisor for Socio-Anthropology of Maritime Affairs at the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs and Investment of the Republic of Indonesia. They took a moment to converse at the airport’s VVIP Terminal.

Illustration. Statue of Garuda Wisnu Kencana in Bali. (Photo: ANTARA)

Jeremiah Manele, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and External Trade of the Solomon Islands, also arrived on Saturday (7 Oct), and was greeted by Basilio Dias Araujo.

Prime Minister Partice Emery Trovoada of Sao Tome touched down in Bali on Sunday (8 Oct), and received an elaborate welcome by the Cordon Unit, a specialized military unit from the Indonesian National Army (TNI) tasked with providing military honors to visiting foreign dignitaries.

Norimasa Shimomura, Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), also arrived at Ngurah Rai International Airport on Sunday (8 Oct), and was received by the Cordon Unit.

Experts and observers are optimistic about the impact of AIS Forum 2023.

Telisa Falianty, a lecturer at the University of Indonesia, believes that the event offers Indonesia an opportunity to enhance its global image following the successful hosting of the ASEAN Summit in 2023.

“Indonesia’s success in hosting various conferences will further improve its global reputation, especially as this is the inaugural AIS Summit,” Telisa commented.

The meeting is also expected to serve as a sustainable platform for island nations, similar to other established regional organizations.

Telisa stressed the importance of disseminating increased cooperation to business stakeholders, communities, and media for tangible benefits on the ground.

Chusmeru, a tourism expert from Soedirman University, emphasized the significance of hosting the AIS Forum 2023 in Bali.

The forum provides an essential platform to address the future challenges facing Indonesia’s seas, including coastal exploitation and ocean pollution.

According to Chusmeru, the principles of “Our Ocean, Our Future” become crucial topics of discussion in the face of these challenges.

Moreover, the forum should facilitate discussions on other critical issues such as coastal exploitation, marine pollution, and conflicts in the Natuna region.

It is hoped that the concept of solidarity within the AIS Forum can be implemented to create mutually beneficial conflict resolutions.

 

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