Focus-Group Discussion on Maritime Security Issues in Indonesia, 23-24 April, 2015, Jakarta
The Indonesian Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fishery organized a two day focus group discussion on Maritime Security, with the support from IOM, on 23 and 24 April 2015, in Jakarta.
The FGD was co-convened by the the University of Indonesia, the Indonesian National Defence University and Coventry University, a UK- based academic institution. The event also featured a keynote speech by the Dr. Desi Albert Mamahit, M.Sc., the Acting Chief of Bakamla (the Indonesian Coast Guard) and was attended by more than 100 participants from wide-ranging sectors, including the Indonesian Ship Owners Association, the Indonesian Immigration, the Marine Police, and many more. The event concluded with a table top exercise facilitated by wellknown experts: Dr. Melda Kamil Ariadno and Professor Adrianus Meliala from the University of Indonesia, and Dr. Abdul Rivai Ras from the Indonesian National Defense university. The table-top exercise produced a number of key recommendations that will be shared with key government institutions.
In his opening remark, the General Secretary of the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, Sjarief Widjaja, said that fighting transnational crime, including people smuggling and human trafficking, is key to Indonesia’s maritime security and integral to the government’s design to establish Indonesia as a Global Maritime Axis. The new Indonesian president has time and again stated his ambition to turn Indonesia into a true maritime country. “As a country composed of 17,000 [sic] islands, Indonesians must see themselves as a nation whose identity, prosperity, and future are bound with the sea,” President Joko Widodo said shortly after his election last year. Indonesia is the largest archipelagic nation in the world, and its sea presents huge economic opportunities. Widjaja predicts that, if properly managed, the economic potential of the Indonesia sea will yield upwards of US$ 660 billion of income annually, including sectors such as fishery, biopharmaceuthical, tourism, offshore mining, and sea transportation.
However, without properly addressing the issue of transnational organized crime, this vision may not come to fruitition. Economic losses from illegal fishing, for example, is predicted at around US$ 20 billion annually. Illegal fishing is also often linked to other crimes, such as human trafficking. Piracy and sea robbery are also a concern, with annual losses caused by these crimes predicted to be in the billions of dollars.
Maritime Security and IOM
IOM is increasingly and consistently playing a critical role in assisting States to address complex migration management challenges globally. IOM Indonesia works closely with the government principally in the areas of border and migration management assessments, curbing transnational organized crime, and migrant care management. IOM Indonesia’s endeavors to combat transnational organized crime were first initiated in 2000, and have since expanded significantly. With funding support from various donors such as Australia and Canada, a number of projects have been implemented to support the Government of Indonesia’s continuing efforts in the area of migration management, with all activities designed to directly support the Government’s policies and priorities.
“We have gone through a process of reconsidering everything we are doing relating to people smuggling and human trafficking within the illegal fisheries for example, reorienting ourselves as an organization so we are well placed to assist the government’s efforts within the broader context of maritime security,” said IOM Indonesia Chief of Mission Mark Getchell.