I was lucky enough to attend the celebration of World Oceans Day (WOD) 2017 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. For the first time, WOD was celebrated as the main event of the UN General Assembly. The United Nations’ Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea (DOALOS) managed to bring the celebration of WOD to the next level. Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti was also at the event, accompanied by the Indonesian ambassador to the UN.
On 7 June 2017, I had a privilege to present ideas representing the UN-Nippon Alumni at the UN-Nippon Foundation Alumni High-Level Event held at the UN Building, New York. I participated in the UN-Nippon Foundation Fellowship program in 2007, a decade ago and I have been an alumnus for almost a decade now. It was a great honour to be selected as one of five out of 100 plus alumni. It is acceptable to be happy.
I presented a maritime boundary issue that Indonesia is now facing, something to do with the need to settle two kinds of maritime boundaries in one particular location. One boundary line is for the continental shelf (seabed) and the other one is EEZ (water column). I presented a famous situation between Indonesia and Australia where, due to different boundary lines, Animation was certainly something that I used to entertain around 90 people in the room.
I had an opportunity to present my ideas on oil concession and the definition of maritime claim at the London International Boundary Conference on 5 June 2017. It was my firs time participating in the conference and also my first time to visit London. It was very interesting.
I presented my idea on 5 June, together with speakers from China, the UK, United States and Luxembourg. All went well and I hope that the participants enjoyed my talk. I also managed to extend my network by making friends with a number of participants and also speakers.
Here is a picture of the event: Me in between delivering a presentation.
The long-standing dispute in the South China Sea involving a number of countries in the region has now come to new stage. The unprecedented step taken by the Philippines to bring the case to the Arbitral Tribunal (administered by Permanent Court of Arbitration, PCA) eventually has brought results that some people might not even thought about before. The decision made by the Tribunal on 12 July 2016 was considered by some as a ‘major victory’ for the Philippines since it rejects most of China’s claim. The year of 2016 is a changing year for the South China Sea.
Hampir tiga tahun berlalu sejak kita diperkenalkan dengan sebuah istilah “Poros Maritim Dunia” (PMD), saatnya menanyakan kabarnya kini. Menariknya, setelah hampir tiga tahun, masih cukup banyak peneliti dan pembelajar kelautan yang gamang ketika menjelaskan makna PMD. Bisa jadi memang konsep dan kebijakannya sendiri yang masih perlu penajaman atau para peneliti ini yang kurang perhatian.
Ada dua hal penting dari cita-cita Indonesia untuk menjadi Poros Maritim Dunia (PMD). Pertama, keniscayaan Indonesia sebagai negara kepulauan yang punya laut luas harus dimanfaatkan untuk kesejahteraan rakyat. Kedua, Indonesia hendak menjadi acuan bagi dunia tentang isu kelautan dan kemaritiman. Sebagai negara besar yang lautnya luas, Indonesia ingin memainkan peran penting dalam sektor kelautan dan menjadi kiblat bagi dunia. Hal ini yang sering diungkapkan oleh pihak-pihak yang turut menggagas konsep PMD.
When I stared learning about maritime boundary issues, back in 2004, I did not quite expect that the expertise will bring em to meet a lot of people from different disciplines. While interacting with people from legal, social and political backgrounds has now become a regular thing, to be invited in a forum of international business is a certainly quite unexpected.
For the first time I was invited to talk about the relationship between maritime boundary issues and international business by the State Polytechnic of Bali (PNB). In the seminar I spoke with two other speakers and specifically discuss the impact of pending maritime boundaries to international business. Maritime security and regional safety were among other things that I discussed with audiences from different background. I has always been fun to discuss with people with educational background that is completely different from mine. To me, the discussion was a perspective-enriching. Here is a video taken by Bali TV and was aired the night after the seminar. Enjoy!
Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM) has been conducting a summer program called DREaM since 2009 attracting young people from around the world to learn at UGM. This year, in 2016, the DREaM program is with a theme: managing the blue planet. In short, the program focuses on the issue related to ocean affairs and the law of the sea. The 2016 program attracts more than 4o students from a number of countries to come to Yogyakarta to learn and have fun at the same time.
I was asked by the organiser to deliver a lecture on geopolitics and maritime security. The lecture is on maritime boundary issues in ASEAN and beyond, including those in the South China Sea. It was interesting to observe how participants from China were interested in debate after the lecture. It shows how the topic attracts the participants, especially the Chinese, so much. The lecture was an interactive one where students did not only sit and listen but also actively asked questions and conveyed their opinion. I had fun.
Opportunities often come in a very short notice. This includes an opportunity to moderate a session on maritime security in Bangkok, organised by ReCAAP, a regional organisation based in Singapore. A good friend from Singapore once called me and asked whether or not I could be a moderator in Bangkok. It took me a while before saying yes, even though it meant that I would need to adjust my own schedule.
On 14 July 2016, I took a role as a moderator presenting six speakers from different countries in ASEAN. The topic was “Piracy and Sea Armed Robbery”, something that does not precisely fall into my expertise. However, I needed to say yes for it was a replacement to my colleague who was ill. She was scheduled to moderate the session but could not do that for health concerns. I am grateful for the opportunity for it forced be to learn. I enjoyed the session very much.