Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Indonesian government is pursuing efforts to gather support from member countries of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) for Indonesia's re-nomination as a member of the IMO Council Category C for the 2024-2025 period.

Efforts to raise support were not only made domestically by inviting ambassadors from IMO member countries to attend a lunch or diplomatic reception, as was held earlier this July in Jakarta, but also carried out on the sidelines of the 129th IMO Council Session at the IMO Headquarters in London, England, on July 20.

Director General of Sea Transportation of the Transportation Ministry, Arif Toha, who represented Indonesia at the 129th Council Session, noted that the Indonesian delegation continued to seek support from IMO member countries for Indonesia's candidacy as a member of the IMO Council Category C for the 2024-2025 period.

Efforts to raise support were made by holding several activities, such as a coffee break for members of the IMO Council on July 18, organizing bilateral meetings, and holding a lunch reception at the IMO London building on July 20.

At the lunch reception attended by IMO member countries, Toha said that Indonesia has been an active member of IMO since 1961 and has been a dedicated member of the IMO Council since 1973.

Hence, this year, Indonesia aims to continue its contribution to the world's sea transportation by becoming a member of the board for Category "C" for the 2024-2025 period at the election of IMO Council members in December 2023.

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The Indonesian government is committed to achieving good marine governance through several steps, such as implementing strong global standards and compliance with IMO Instruments on shipping safety and security, protection of the marine environment, including competence and basic rights of seafarers, in collaboration with other maritime countries, as well as women's participation in the maritime industry.

Moreover, Indonesia will continue the partnership and expand cooperation with IMO and its member countries to achieve common targets and realize the fulfillment of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, particularly the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) point 14 and other related SDGs.

Indonesia also welcomes IMO member countries keen to participate and share best practices in developing smart and sustainable ports to increase the efficiency and sustainability of the maritime industry.

Currently, Indonesia is working to increase the number of sustainable and smart ports to increase the efficiency and sustainability of ship and port operations and the national maritime industry.

In addition, Indonesia has implemented a Maritime Single Window, or known as Integrated Carrier Single Submission, and developed INAPORTNET as a digital administration of ship management systems for ship arrivals and departures.

This system aims to facilitate domestic and international sea transportation by simplifying and harmonizing related processes in a systematic manner, in accordance with amendments to the Convention on Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic (FAL).

In an effort to become a member of the IMO Council Category C for the 2024-2025 period, Indonesia also invites IMO member countries to strengthen cooperation in implementing energy efficiency and renewable energy to accelerate the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from ships.

Since IMO had revised its greenhouse gas emissions strategy, Indonesia is also preparing a strategy to encourage shipping decarbonization at the national level.

Energy efficiency

The Indonesian government has mandated the implementation of energy efficiency measures, a ship rejuvenation program, the fuel consumption mandatory report for all Indonesian-flagged vessels, the installation of solar navigation aids, and ports' electrification. Until the end of 2022, On-Shore Power Supply (OPS) facilities have been available at 21 ports, and Indonesia is committed to increasing the number this year.

In addition, Indonesia will continue to encourage the use of new and renewable energy by implementing a mandatory biodiesel program, namely B-35, for the domestic shipping industry. In the last three years, the use of biodiesel fuel has reached 22.7 percent of the total marine fuel consumption in Indonesia.

During the IMO meeting, Toha emphasized that all these efforts would not be able to yield optimal results if the government failed to pay attention to the main core of this sector, namely sailors. Hence, he emphasized Indonesia's commitment to supporting the safety, health, welfare, and competence of its sailors.

"As the fourth-largest seafaring supply country in the world, Indonesia will actively participate in discussions on seafarer issues and the human element of this industry," he noted.

Toha then closed his remarks by seeking support from IMO member countries for Indonesia's re-nomination as member of the IMO Council for the 2024-2025 period.

The 129th IMO Council Session was held at the IMO headquarters in London on July 17-21, 2023. The big agenda at the session, included the selection of the IMO Secretary-General for the 2024-2028 period held on July 18, 2023. After going through four rounds of the election process, Arsenio Antonio Dominguez Velasco from the Republic of Panama was chosen as IMO Secretary-General starting on January 1, 2024.

Apart from the election of the Secretary-General, the Indonesian government also attended the 2022 IMO Financial Statement Audit Report presented by the Indonesian Supreme Audit Agency (BPK) on July 19.

In this audit report, the BPK highlighted that the term of office of BPK, as an IMO external auditor, will end in December 2023. The re-election of the IMO external auditor will be conducted at the Assembly Session in December.

BPK's success in becoming an external auditor for IMO shows that its work is recognized by the world organization, considering that Indonesia is the first ASEAN country to succeed in becoming an IMO external auditor.

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Translator: Ahmad Wijaya, Resinta S
Editor: Sri Haryati
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