Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Indonesian Transportation Ministry's Directorate General of Sea Transportation, along with the Singaporean and Malaysian governments, conducted a discussion to increase safety of navigation and maritime protection in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore (SOMS).

The discussion was conducted at the 46th Tripartite Technical Experts Group (TTEG) meeting organized by the Malacca Straits Council (MSC) on August 2-3, 2023, in Singapore.

The ministry's director of navigation, Captain Budi Mantoro, as an Indonesian delegate, remarked that Indonesia actively participates in discussing and finalizing several new initiatives related to the development of shipping safety in the SOMS and other agendas discussed at the meeting.

"We provided several important inputs in the finalization of project 14, which is a new initiation on the development of standard operating procedure (SOPs) for Aids to Navigation Virtual in the SOMS and project 15 on the development of SOPs to address falling container incidents in the SOMS," he noted in a statement received here, Friday.

Moreover, he stated that the Indonesian delegation also discussed plans to revise the ship route system and ship reporting system and further discussed project 13 initiated by MSC in the extension of the TTEG at the 46th TTEG meeting in January or February 2024.

According to Mantoro, SOMS had functioned as one of the most strategic and important shipping lanes in the world.

The large traffic volume, length of the lane, and its geographical characteristics have become a challenge for the three countries to ensure safe navigation and environmental protection in the strait, he noted.

"For almost five decades, the three countries have maintained excellent partnership on matters concerning this strait. TTEG has also proven to be an effective platform for implementing coordinated measures to maintain safe, clean, and secure shipping in the strait," he stated.

During the meeting, he noted that initiatives were also discussed regarding plans to change the existing mandatory ship reporting system, the ship route system in the SOMS, and explore improvements in pilotage services in the SOMS to improve navigational safety and protection of the marine environment in the SOMS.

Furthermore, he stated that the commitments agreed at the meeting will not only to be targeted at the three countries but also at international organizations, user countries, and other stakeholders to improve navigational safety and environmental protection in the Malacca Strait.

"We want to emphasize that maintaining SOMS is an international responsibility as stipulated in Article 43 of UNCLOS," Mantoro noted.

He also lauded the work of the Singaporean government that had hosted the meeting and all delegates attending the meeting.

"The same appreciation goes to the Malaysian delegates, observers from the International Maritime Organization (IMO), user countries, and international organizations involved. Let us keep SOMS safe and clean for international trade," he stated.

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Translator: Benardy Ferdiansyah, Resinta S
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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