Indonesia Matters to the Pacific

22 January 2018 554 Views

Indonesia is part of the Pacific with around 11 million people of Melanesian ethnic spread across 5 Provinces (namely East Nusa Tenggara, Maluku, North Maluku, Papua, and West Papua), Indonesia has long committed its involvement in the development of a stable region.

Prosper and stable Pacific is one of Indonesia’s priorites. Indonesia continues to strengthen its partnerships with several key countries in the region to ensure that the bilateral ties are strong and productive. Thus, Indonesia also remains committed in adding value to the Pacific, broaden relations between its governments, communities, and people, strengthen cooperation and address common challenges, and deepen economic ties and development cooperation for the future prosperity of peoples in region.

In the last 15 years, Indonesia has provided various capacity building training programs to more than 1,200 people in the region, among others in the field of climate change, marine conservation, disaster risk management, democracy, and agriculture. Indonesia has also committed to providing assistance for its Pacific partners worth US$ 20 million in the form of technical cooperation in a period of 5 years (2014 – 2019).

Moreover, Indonesia has been actively participating in various regional groupings, such as: Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PECC) since 1980; Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) since 1989, Southwest Pacific Dialogue (SwPD) since 2002, Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries and Food Security (CTI-CFF) since 2009.  With the same regard, Indonesia has also been active in Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) since 2001, Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) since 2014, and as Associate Member of Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) since 2015.

As an archipelagic countries, Indonesia shares destiny with its brothers and sisters in the Pacific region. Indonesia strengthens ocean governance, sustainable development, and regional security with international organisations in the region. There is an urgent need to preservance the sea as well as its biodiversity in order to manage the impact of natural disaster and climate change.

At the 48th PIF Summit in Apia, Samoa in 2017, Indonesia urged for a concrete cooperation in the region in combating marine plastic debris. Indonesia endorsed the utilization of bio-degradable plastic bags, and also offered related partnership in the field of sustainable plastic waste management technology; exchange of experts for dissemination of bio-degradable plastic technology, eco-brick, plastic paving block; as well as plastic waste management techniques.

In the field of security, Indonesia is currently involved in the regional security architecture in the MSG. Indonesia and the MSG Members agreed to continue to improve sharing information in addressing security and police challenges in the MSG region. As the sole Associate Member of the MSG, Indonesia was accepted as the full member of the MSG Working Group on Regional Security Strategy (WGRSS) during the 2nd MSG Inaugural Police Ministers’ Meeting in Jakarta, March 2017. Further, in November 2017, Indonesia hosted the 1st MSG WGRSS Meeting. All Members Countries (Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu) discussed emerging trends of crimes, as well as regional security issues and how MSG countries can contribute to the UN peace-keeping operations. Indonesia, represented by the National Police of Indonesia, shared its experiences and best practices in combating transnational crimes.

The MSG countries also noted related assistance provided by Indonesia, among others the assistance for developing MSG Regional Police Academy, as well as capacity building programmes invitation extended to the MSG Secretariat and Member Countries. In 2017, Indonesia invited Members to actively participate in Maritime Safety and Security Programme organized by Indonesia Ministry of Foreign Affairs at the Jakarta Centre for Law Enforcement Cooperation in Semarang, Indonesia.

(Source: Directorate of Asia Pacific and African Intra and Inter-Regional Cooperation, Kemlu RI)