As a nation located between the Indian and the Pacific Oceans, Indonesia has affirmed its ambition to become one of the worlds maritime axis.
Having more than 17 thousand islands, Indonesia is the largest archipelagic nation in the world, with some 5.8 million square kilometers of sea territory, that forms about 70 percent of its total territory, while its land territory covers only 1.9 million square kilometers.
It has a 92 thousand kilometers long coastline, making it the second-longest after Canada.
"Indonesia had an interest in becoming an IMO member because of its very strategic geography. By becoming a member of the IMO Council, Indonesia could contribute to the safety and security of international shipping," JA Barata, spokesman of the Indonesian transportation ministry, said in a statement.
Transportation Minister Ignasius Jonan is heading the countrys delegation to participate in the 29th session of the IMO Assembly, being held in London from November 23 to December 2, 2015.
When delivering his speech at the IMO Assembly, Minister Jonan reaffirmed Indonesias commitment to realizing the countrys vision of becoming a world maritime axis by 2019 to demonstrate its seriousness of protecting the maritime environment.
Speaking at the at the IMO Assembly, the minister outlined Indonesias contribution and role as one of the worlds largest maritime nations, Gita Loka Murti of the Indonesian embassy in London said on Nov. 28.
Indonesia has been a part of the IMO since 1961. It became a member of the IMO Council for the 1973-1979 period, and again in 1983. Since then, it continues to be a member of the Council.
Indonesia was among the 20 countries elected in the C category of the 40-member Council for the 2016-2017 biennium, during the 29th Assembly of the IMO held in London on November 27, 2015.
In the C Category, 20 states were elected because they have special interest in maritime transport or navigation and their election to the Council will ensure the representation of all major geographic areas of the world.
The 20 countries include Australia, Bahamas, Belgium, and Chile, in addition to Cyprus, Denmark, Egypt, and Indonesia. The others on the list are Kenya, Liberia, Malaysia, and Malta, along with Mexico, Morocco, Peru, and Philippines. Making up the rest are Singapore, South Africa, Thailand, and Turkey.
The A Category consists of 10 states that have maximum interest in providing international shipping services.
They are China, Greece, Italy, and Japan, in addition to Norway, Panama, the Republic of Korea, and the Russian Federation. The United Kingdom and the United States are the other nations that complete the group of ten.
The B Category also comprises 10 states with the largest interest in international seaborne trade. These are Argentina, Bangladesh, Brazil, and Canada, in addition to France, Germany, India, and the Netherlands. Spain and Sweden make up the rest of the ten members.
A specialized agency of the United Nations, IMO is the global standard-setting authority for the safety, security and environmental performance of international shipping.
The 171-member organizations main role is to create a regulatory framework for the shipping industry that is fair and effective, universally adopted and universally implemented.
The IMO Council is the executive organ of the IMO and is responsible, under the Assembly, for supervising the work of the organization.
The Assembly normally meets once every two years for a regular session. It is responsible for approving the work program, voting on the budget and determining the financial arrangements of the organization.
While attending the meeting, Minister Jonan presented a signed ratification document of the Ballast Water Management (BMW) convention in London, on November 24.
The ratification demonstrated Indonesias commitment to marine environmental protection, Jonan said in a press statement.
"By ratifying the convention, Indonesia has become a king maker as it facilitated the conventions coming into force completely, effective six months after Indonesia had presented the Accession Placard," the minister said.
According to him, the ratification by Indonesia is part of the cooperation between Indonesia and the IMO within the framework of IMO-NORAD (Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation) Project and the support from the Globallast project.
Last October, the sea transportation directorate general, in cooperation with the IMO and the NORAD, organized a national seminar on the Readiness of Stakeholders for Ballast Water Management Convention in Jakarta.
The IMO developed and adopted the convention with the aim of protecting the marine environment from the transfer of harmful aquatic organisms in ballast water carried by ships.
According to the IMOs estimates, ships carry some three billion tons to five billion tons of ballast water globally each year.
The convention will apply to all ships and offshore structures that carry ballast water and are engaged in international voyages.
The BWM Convention requires ships to have procedures in place for BWM as it aims to prevent the spread of harmful and invasive aquatic species in ships ballast water.
The convention will come into force 12 months after the date on which 30 IMO member states, representing 35 percent of the worlds tonnage, ratify it.
The BWM Convention is the diminutive term commonly used when referring to the "International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships Ballast Water and Sediments," adopted by IMO in February 2004.
The Convention requires a review to determine whether appropriate technologies are available to achieve the standard.