Indonesia attended the meeting of the 11th Council of Minister (COM) of Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation (IOR-ARC) which was held in Bengaluru, India, on November 15, 2011.
Indian’s Minister of External Affairs, SM Krishna assumed the chairmanship of the IOR-ARC for the 2011-2012 period, while Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd, assumed the post of vice-chair of the meeting that was attended by 19 member countries (Australia, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kenya, Malaysia, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mauritius, Oman, Seychelles Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, Yemen).
Indonesia reiterated its commitment to enhance cooperation in the Indian Ocean in which the COM IOR-ARC Bengaluru have assigned six foremost cooperation in such fields as (i) Maritime Safety and Security, (ii) Trade and Investment Facilitation, (iii) Fisheries Management, (iv) Disaster Risk Reduction, (v) Academic and Science & Technology Cooperation, (vi) Tourism Promotion and Cultural Exchange.
Related to the cooperation in the field of maritime safety and security, Indonesia expressed deep concern over the increasing of insecurity lanes in the Indian Ocean as a result of ship hijacking by Somali pirates.
Therefore, Indonesia encouraged the establishment of the cooperation in the field of Maritime Safety and Security and appreciated Australia’s plan to hold IOR-ARC Ocean Conference in Perth in 2012.
According to Indonesia, the Conference is an appropriate form of response from the IOR-ARC towards the increasing security issues in the Indian Ocean, since all of IOR-ARC member countries are having their interest concerning the security of the Indian Ocean.
Indonesia expected IOR-ARC would identify areas that might be developed in the future in the field of maritime security including the improvement of each member countries’ capacity.
Indonesia also expressed eagerness to take part in the cooperation of Research & Technology and Academics of IOR-ARC that will be held by sub-fora of IOR Academic Group.
Indonesia expressed readiness of LIPI and Andalas University – the Study Center for Indian Ocean--- to be the center of excellence in learning activities in the fields of fisheries, and marine biodiversity, as well as the assignation of LIPI to be the study center of disaster management.
Another development of IOR-ARC is the establishment of the Fisheries Support Unit and Maritime Transport Council which are based in Oman and the Regional Center for Science Transfer and Technology Transfer in Iran.
COM also elected the new Secretary General, who is the Ambassador of India, C.V. Bhagirath (2012-2014), to replace the Ambassador of Iran Morteza Sarmadi (2009-2011).
Previously, on 9 -11 November 2011, series of meetings had been conducted at the sub-fora level such as the Indian Ocean Rim Business Forum; Working Group on Trade and Investment, Indian Ocean Rim Academic Group and the Committee of Senior Officials (CSO), on 12-14 November 2011.
As a country that is located on the Indian Ocean, Indonesia, since the establishment of the IOR-ARC in 1997 in Mauritius, has been actively participating in promoting cooperation among the countries located on the Indian Ocean.
In the series of meetings of IOR-ARC in Bangalore, the delegation of Republic of Indonesia is led by Ambassador Yuli Mumpuni Widarso, a Senior Advisor Foreign Ministry for Political, Legal and Security, who was accompanied by the representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Indonesia, the Ministry of Research and Technology of Indonesia and Andalas University – the Study Center for Indian Ocean. (Sumber: Dit. KIK Aspasaf)