Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesia, as host of the 1st High-Level Meeting of the Archipelagic and Island States (AIS) Forum, has called for unity and collaboration among AIS Forum participating countries amid a divided world.

"Indonesia would like to invite all attending countries to continue strengthening unity and enhancing collaboration in today’s divided world. Let us walk and work together," Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) stated while opening the high-level meeting in Nusa Dua, Bali, on Wednesday.

He highlighted that all archipelagic and island countries, whether large or small, developed or developing, are facing challenges, such as rising sea levels, marine resource management, and marine pollution.

"Throwing rubbish on land does not necessarily mean it will end up in another part of the world. But throwing rubbish into the ocean means it can reach any land in the world," he stated.

Jokowi noted that collaboration and solidarity between archipelagic and island countries are crucial to creating strategic, concrete, and tactical measures for tackling shared problems.

He also said that the high-level meeting is a crucial opportunity to set the direction for future collaboration.

In this regard, he encouraged three aspects to be advanced: solidarity, equality, and inclusivity as principles that must be held together; priority on concrete cooperation that is adjusted to the needs of recipient countries; and third, robust and dynamic cooperation framework to respond to challenges going forward.

On that occasion, he noted that Indonesia has also continued to echo the interests of archipelagic and developing countries at various international forums, such as the 2022 G20 Summit, the 2023 ASEAN Summit, and the 2023 AIS Forum High-Level Meeting.

"Indonesia is also committed to preparing grant funds to be used for the interests of archipelagic countries and developing countries," he remarked.

Editor: Anton Santoso
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