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National Geographic Location Impacts Maritime Affairs: Minister

Jakarta (ANTARA) – Indonesia’s strategic geographical position impacts maritime affairs on national and international scales, Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Mahfud MD stated.

“Geographic position impacts the intensity of maritime affairs, interests, and issues, be it on the national or international scales,” the minister remarked during a workshop on maritime security at Borobudur Hotel on Wednesday.

Mahfud explained that Indonesia is the 14th-widest country and is also the largest archipelagic country in the world. It is situated between two continents — Asia and Australia — as well as the Indian and Pacific oceans, he added.

“As for Indonesia’s expanse of waters in the jurisdiction, the islands (we) have reach as many as 17,508,” he pointed out.

As a maritime state, Indonesia possesses a wealth of marine resources that also pose some challenges in and of itself, Mahfud stressed.

The threats brought upon by such possession are predominantly non-traditional issues, such as violations committed in the form of illegal fishing, human trafficking, contraband and narcotics smuggling, as well as environmental pollution, he elaborated.

Hence, he urged the government and law enforcement apparatus to join hands and fulfill their responsibility in preventing and taking firm action against all threats to Indonesia’s safety of marine space.

Moreover, Asia’s regional geopolitics is riddled with maritime security and safety issues, such as South China Sea’s disputes and claims of overlapping maritime area that could trigger tensions, he remarked.

He opined that in general, the national geopolitical situation is still stable, though the state still faces some risks when it comes to its marine space.

“Overall, the national geopolitical situation as of now is still stable, but Indonesia still faces plenty of risks and threats that could compromise national stability, (the threats of which) could be domestic or international,” Minister Mahfud concluded.

Source : Antara News