The Significant Efforts To Strengthening Maritime Security

The Significant Efforts To Strengthening Maritime Security

The rule of law will keep the playing field level when it comes to debating maritime security in an Asia-Pacific region charged with competing interests. According to Arief Havas Oegroseno, assistant for maritime security at the Office of the Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister said that as Asia is increasingly becoming the center of global economic growth, the region’s existing maritime security architecture needs to be improved, says Balancing between traditional and non-traditional security threats, domestic factors, the need for operational-level arrangements and the undeniable influence of Sino-American relations on the region, that regional policymakers at the highest levels needed to keep the playing field level, or risk seeing regional tensions escalate.

He asserted that one of the best solutions that countries in the region can rely on regardless of their economic, political and demographic standing, is the rule of law. Going back to the law is very important because we have a common reference of what it is in terms of the conduct of countries in the region.

This assertion was supported by Robert Beckman, professor at the Centre for International Law at the National University of Singapore. The Law of the Sea is critically important to protect the interests of the coastal states in the region,” said Beckman, referring to the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

However, point out that relying on the general principles of international law alone would not suffice and that more rules of engagement were needed to encompass all the outstanding issues in the region. “If we talk about maritime security issues, we must talk about where the actual events are, whether in territorial seas, straits, archipelagic waters or economic zones, but in many other respects, maritime security issues are not handled in any detail in UNCLOS,” he said.

Beckman said most countries in Southeast Asia, or at least all the countries surrounding the South China Sea, were parties to UNCLOS, with the exception of North Korea and Cambodia. Beckman also shone a light on the US, which has yet to ratify the convention. With regard to this, Havas urged the US to ratify UNCLOS “as soon as possible” to maintain credibility and engagement in the region.

For Southeast Asia, at least in Indonesia’s perspective, UNCLOS has been pivotal for maintaining peace, stability and allowing countries to prosper economically, especially as regards the South China Sea issue.

A recent international tribunal ruling has provided a buffer against China’s expansionist claims in the sea, allowing smaller countries with competing claims like the Philippines to negotiate on an equal standing with the East Asian giant.

The ruling, based on the principles of UNCLOS, dismantled Beijing’s controversial nine-dash line, the basis for its unitary claim over features in the South China Sea.

Beijing rejected the ruling and its application, but the Indonesian Foreign Ministry’s leading legal expert, Damos Dumoli Agusman, argued that the decision remained valid even without China’s political support, although it was still up to the claimants to resolve the core issue.

Besides the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei Darussalam and Vietnam also have competing claims with China and Taiwan in the disputed body of water, through which US$5 trillion of global trade passes each year.

Maritime Security is a Key to Boost Indonesia’s Economic

Quoting from Robert Beckman, professor at the Centre for International Law at the National University of Singapore said that if we talk about maritime security issues, we must talk about where the actual events are, whether in territorial seas, straits, archipelagic waters or economic zones, but in many other respects, maritime security issues are not handled in any detail in UNCLOS.

Talking about territorial seas and straits, we must realize that those strategic issue could be trigered the raising of a regional security and political tension because we have a common enemies on those issues such as piracy, arm smuggling, people smuggling, illegal fishing, sailorman abduction, and another an extra ordinary economic illegal crimes which could be made a number of countries will be bankcrupcy at the next several years.

According to United States Defence Dictionary, internal waters or an archipelagic waters is all waters, other than lawfully claimed archipelagic waters, landward of the baseline from which the territorial sea is measured. Archipelagic states may also delimit internal waters consistent with the 1982 convention on the law of the sea. All states have complete sovereignty over their internal waters.

Meanwhile, if we’re talking about archipelagic waters, those are several crucial issues such as a maritime boundary among two countries or more, because at an inland waters in several countries have a huge amount of natural resources treasures which could be trigered a war or a conflict between two or more countries if a maritime boundary didn’t clear among them.

The scale of the challenges faced by Indonesia, the country with a length of 5,200 km is very large. Consists of approximately 17,000 islands, Indonesia has a border with Australia, Timor Leste, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines, and Indonesian Exclusive Economic Zone is also overlaps with the area claimed by China .

Such an extensive sea border coupled with limited resources becomes a major challenge for Indonesia to show its strength and overcome a number of issues related to human trafficking and people smuggling, piracy and drug trafficking.

President Joko Widodo has planed to build 24 harbor as one of way to support a maritime economic. In order to build maritime economic, the Indonesia’s government has planed to bild sea toll. The development of 24 harbor will be held in Banda Aceh, Belawan, Kuala Tanjung, Dumai, Batam, Padang, Pangkal Pinang, Panjang Harbor in Lampung, Tanjung Priok, Cilacap, Tanjung Perak, Lombok, Kupang, Pontianak, Palangkaraya, Banjarmasin, Maloy, Makassar, Bitung, Halmahera, Ambon, Sorong, Merauke and Jayapura. The goverment will be prepared six main harbor in Belawan, Tanjung Priok, Tanjung Perak, Makassar, and Sorong which could be landed with large ships weighs 3,000 to 10 thousand tons. One of purposes from the sea toll is reducing logistic cost, because one is reached 25% from domestic product brutto.

The competitiveness of Indonesia’s infrastructure at 61 level in the world comparing with Malaysia at 29, Thailand (47) dan Singapore (2). Some of the physical constraints had experienced a number of ports include ports that require expansion is still hampered by land acquisition, lack of infrastructure support such as a pilot station, a lack of container cranes, lack of electrical power, the depth of the port is inadequate, the lack of radio operators and dock kademeter vague.

Even the lack of lighting facilities in and out of the harbor, has made around the port location to be the location of criminal groups and people are not held accountable. Strengthening a maritime economic is a good policy because indonesia’s sea is strategically from economic and maritime side because Asia Pasific region has contributed 37% from world trade totall.

Globally, it has approxiamately 350 million of jobs could be created it. To be our challengers are the lack of infrastructure, the existance of maritime transnational crimes, maritime borders dispute and last but not least is the existance of fear some countries if Indonesia became the strongest maritime country in Asia Pacific which is feared could interfere with their national security.

To minimilize those fear, the sophistication of the apparatus of our maritime diplomacy to explain to them is required. What should we do ? We must strenght cooperation such as billateral cooperation, regional and multinational to minimilize maritime crimes; maximalizing our sea potential power to boost our national economic revenue; supporting the government to integrate maritime knowledge at basic education to university level; supporting our government to formulate Indonesia’s cultural strategy as maritime nation; reformulating national development policy with the core business at sea, fishermen and coastal communities; fulfillment of legal guarantees, protection, and safety for Indonesia’s fishermen and maximizing the development of the front of Indonesia’s islands and establish a system of space marine socio-economic justice.

Toni Ervianto1*) Toni Ervianto is a political, economic and security columnist. Previously, his earned master degree at the University of Indonesia (UI).

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