Indonesia Calls for More Support to Coral Triangle Initiative

Indonesia Calls for More Support to Coral Triangle Initiative


Indonesia is urging leaders of Pacific countries to have a more active role in supporting programs that are seen to benefit the region.

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has been active in the past few months meeting with leaders from Papua New Guinea, Timor-Leste, Viet Nam, Solomon Islands, and Australia to “strengthen bilateral relations while also fostering ways to connect the Pacific and Asia,” a report from the Jakarta Post said.

The report said Yudyohono received and talked with leaders of the said countries “within a span of less than three weeks between June and July.”

Aside from bilateral relations and trade agreements, Yudyohono also urged leaders of the Pacific nations to support programs such as the Coral Triangle Initiative.

Indonesia, Timor-Leste, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Malaysia, and the Philippines border the Coral Triangle, a rich marine ecosystem that supports a multibillion-dollar fishing industry and provides livelihood to millions of people living in coastal areas. The Coral Triangle is also a protected marine sanctuary but faces threats such as climate change and overfishing.

President Yudyohono’s meeting with Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill resulted in the creation of “a new strategic comprehensive partnership that will go a long way in enhancing trade and investment relations while forging people-to-people contact, especially among those at the border,” the Jakarta Post report further said.

President Yudyohono’s meeting with leaders of Pacific nations focused on the challenges that the region faces including threats to the Coral Triangle, the need to strengthen regional cooperation, more trade relations, and climate change issues, among others.

The Indonesian leader’s meeting with Timor-Leste President Taur Matan Ruak was highlighted by the commitment of both countries to “further enhance the development of Indonesia’s eastern region while also maintaining accord in the face of global issues.”

The meeting with Solomon Islands Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo “not only produced greater technical cooperation, trade commitments and people-to-people relations,” but also produced further commitment by the two countries to give more support to the Coral Triangle Initiative.

President Yudyohono’s meeting with Viet Nam President Truong Tang San was highlighted by the two countries’ commitment to “preserve regional maritime security especially to prevent misperceptions in Viet Nam’s East Sea.”

The Indonesian leader’s meeting with Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd meanwhile focused on “cattle trade and preventing the abuse of boat people by clandestine organizations.”

The meetings of the leaders of the Pacific nations also focused on international security, transnational crime, military misperceptions, and growing interests for global security and stability, as well as climate change for Small Island Developing States (SIDS), the Jakarta Post report further said.

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