The most important thing is the information sharing.
Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Indonesian Maritime Security Agency (Bakamla) is chairing the 2023 ASEAN Coast Guard Forum in Jakarta from June 6-9 to discuss cooperation in protecting waters from various threats, including illegal fishing.

"The ASEAN Coast Guard Forum aims to establish cooperation to maintain security and stability in ASEAN, as well as develop a communication network," said Head of Bakamla, Vice Admiral Aan Kurnia, at a press conference after opening the forum on Wednesday.

He noted that the forum also encourages information sharing, coordination, and joint training among its member countries. The forum also aims to build trust among coast guards in the Southeast Asia region.

ASEAN (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations) is a regional intergovernmental organization of ten countries located in the region.

The 2023 ASEAN Coast Guard Forum is being attended by representatives from seven ASEAN member countries: Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, the Philippines, Brunei Darussalam, and Indonesia, which is chairing the forum for the first time.

Kurnia noted that ASEAN member countries face similar challenges in maintaining maritime security, including illegal fishing, violation of territorial boundaries, and the smuggling of goods.

"For example, if Bakamla receives information that a suspicious ship has entered Philippine waters, we will inform our colleagues in the Philippines. The same is true for Malaysia. We and APMM (Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency) have often helped each other," he said.

He stressed that each country must respect each other's sovereignty, territorial boundaries, and laws, but that international cooperation is still essential to protect the waters of each country and region.

"The most important thing is information sharing," Kurnia said.

He also noted that the representatives of the coast guards of Vietnam, Cambodia, and Myanmar are not attending the 2023 ASEAN Coast Guard Forum, as they are dealing with a number of more pressing domestic issues.

"The coast guard of Cambodia is not present because they are handling a disaster and preparing for a general election. Therefore, the country is represented by its embassy in Jakarta," the Bakamla head continued.

The forum is a follow-up to the Technical Expert Group Meeting (TEGM) in Cebu, Philippines, from May 1-4, 2023.

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Translator: Genta Mawangi, Uyu Liman
Editor: Anton Santoso
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