Jokowi launches maritime foreign policy to the world

Rendi A. Witular, The Jakarta Post


Before world leaders attending the East Asia summit on Thursday, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo announced the much-awaited vision of his signature maritime-axis doctrine that will define his administration for the next five years.

Jokowi said the summit was essential for security, stability and economic prosperity in the region, and he chose the forum to express the ideas about Indonesia as a global maritime fulcrum.

The leaders of the 10 ASEAN nations and US President Barack Obama, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi are among the luminaries attending the summit.

“Indonesia realizes that a substantial transformation is taking place in the 21st century. The center of gravity of the geo-economic and geo-political world is shifting from West to East. Asian countries are on the rise,” he said.

In this dynamic, he said, the sea would have an increasingly important role in Indonesia’s future and that as a maritime country Indonesia must assert itself as a force between the two oceans: the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean.

Jokowi said that his maritime doctrine had five main pillars that included issues related to economics, security and development.

He also said in his speech that Indonesia was certainly interested in participating in determining the future of the Pacific and Indian Ocean region (PACINDO).

“We want the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean to remain peaceful and safe for world trade, not used as a platform for the seizure of natural resources, territorial disputes or maritime supremacy,” he said.

“We encourage ASEAN members in the summit to support and be actively involved in running the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity, especially connectivity and maritime infrastructure.”

The former Jakarta governor also called for closer cooperation in maintaining maritime security. Especially with regard to the South China Sea, Indonesia called on all parties to exercise restraint, and seek a solution based on international law.

“I welcome the commitment to implement the DOC [Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea]. I also support the completion of the COC

as soon as possible through consultation.” (nfo)(++++)

Indonesian helicopters and navy ships in formation at an event earlier this month. President Joko promised during his campaign to have a maritime policy that safeguards Indonesia’s economy and defence. — PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE –

Five pillars of Jokowi’s maritime-axis doctrine:

1. Rebuild Indonesia’s maritime culture. As a country consisting of 17,000 islands, Indonesia should be aware of and see the oceans as part of the nation’s identity, its prosperity and its future are determined by how we manage the oceans.

2. Maintain and manage marine resources, with a focus on building marine food sovereignty through the development of the fishing industry.

3. Provide priority to the development of maritime infrastructure and connectivity by constructing sea highways along the shore of Java, establish deep seaports and logistical networks as well as developing the shipping industry and maritime tourism.

4. Through maritime diplomacy, Indonesia invites other nations to cooperate in the marine field and eliminate the source of conflicts at sea, such as illegal fishing, violations of sovereignty, territorial disputes, piracy and marine pollution.

5. Indonesia has an obligation to develop its maritime defense forces. This is necessary not only to maintain maritime sovereignty and wealth, but also as a form of our responsibility to maintain the safety of shipping and maritime security.

This story appeared first in The Jakarta Post


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