Nusa Dua, Bali (ANTARA) - Leaders of the Archipelagic and Island States (AIS) Forum have agreed to make the cooperation forum an international organization.

The agreement was reached at the 1st High-Level Meeting of the AIS Forum here on Wednesday that resulted in the Leaders' Declaration on the Solidarity of the Archipelagic and Island States Forum.

"The leaders agreed to increase cooperation in the context of AIS Forum to become more charter-based towards the formation of an international organization," Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi, who accompanied President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) during the meeting, stated.

In this case, AIS country leaders have assigned their ministers and high-ranking officials to start discussing the road map and necessary conditions.

The declaration agreed upon by the 32 AIS participating countries also includes four priorities for future cooperation, namely climate mitigation and change, blue economy and ecotourism, handling marine plastic pollution, and good maritime governance.

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According to Minister Marsudi, the AIS Forum is different from other international forums, as it prioritizes cooperation programs and innovative solutions that are community-based.

"There are many community-based programs that touch the interests of the people, including new ideas initiated by the youth in handling climate change," she remarked.

The minister emphasized that Indonesia would continue to support the principles of inclusivity in the AIS Forum cooperation by involving the community and all stakeholders to participate.

Indonesia hosted the 1st High-Level Meeting of the AIS Forum that was attended by 32 countries and four international organizations.

At the head-of-state level, Indonesia noted the participation of President of the Federated States of Micronesia Wesley Simina, Prime Minister of Timor-Leste Xanana Gusmao, the Premier of Niue Dalton Tagelagi, Prime Minister of São Tomé and Príncipe Patrice Emery Trovoada, and Prime Minister of Tuvalu Kausea Natano.

Deputy Prime Minister of Fiji Manoa Seru Nakausabaria Kamikamica and Deputy Prime Minister of Tonga Samiu Kuita Vaipulu were also in attendance at the meeting.

Meanwhile, delegations of other countries were led by ministers, deputy ministers, high-ranking officials, and ambassadors during the high-level meeting.

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Translator: Yashinta Difa, Raka Adji
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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