Jakarta. Indonesian Navy Vice Chief of Staff A. Taufiq R. said on Wednesday (13/12) Indonesia needs to improve its capabilities in integrated maritime surveillance to address "external challenges" and achieve its ambition to become a global maritime fulcrum.
Speaking at the 60th Anniversary of the Djuanda Declaration symposium in Jakarta, Taufiq stressed there are still "lots of room for improvement" to maximize sustainable use of Indonesian waters to increase the welfare of the country's citizens.
"We all have to act in unison, within parameters set by the government, to achieve our national ambition of becoming a global maritime fulcrum," Taufiq said.
In March, the government released the Indonesian Sea Policy, which maps out Indonesia’s maritime goals.
Indonesia must now commit to real actions under the policy, and formulate a cooperative and comprehensive maritime strategy, according to Taufiq.
He said Indonesia must "adopt and adhere to international regulations on maritime governance" and actively participate in global and regional organizations dealing with maritime issues.
However, to address external challenges, which include transnational crimes and increasing rivalry among major powers in the region, Indonesia must also improve its integrated maritime surveillance capability.
"We need greater surveillance capability. We also need all our maritime agencies to work together following a common vision," Taufiq said.
He also mentioned the need to develop a "robust action capability" across all maritime agencies and increased focus on "safeguarding national interests."
The Role of Youth
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo’s special envoy for maritime delimitation, Eddy Pratomo, said during his speech at the seminar that Indonesia also needs to prepare its younger generation to take care of its future as a maritime nation.
This includes raising awareness on maritimes issues, introducing the Djuanda Declaration into the national school curriculum and ocean-related subjects at university level — even law schools, and increasing funding for research on ocean issues.
Indonesia established its territorial sea borders and introduced the archipelagic baseline concept through the Djuanda Declaration in 1957.
The document has served as Indonesia's foundation to develop its maritime sector.
"We need to attract the younger generation to maritime diplomacy," Eddy said.
Former Indonesian ambassador to Canada and Germany and an expert in the law of the sea, Hasjim Djalal, encouraged the younger generation to "think big" when it comes to maritime diplomacy, or diplomacy in general.
According to Hasjim, young people can look into a few major diplomatic issues to get their feet wet: the use of marine resources to accommodate population increase, national stability, the possibility for the country to develop its own space program and the importance of expanding the country's interests in an interconnected world.