Regional and international cooperation crucial to protect marine resources, says Minister Freitas

Regional and international cooperation crucial to protect marine resources, says Minister Freitas

Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation (MoFAC)

DILI, 11 october 2023 (TATOLI) – At the 5th High-Level Ministerial Meeting, held in Bali, Indonesia, on the sidelines of the 1st Archipelagic and Island States (AIS) Forum, Timor-Leste expressed its commitment to cooperating with other archipelagic and island states in order to contribute to the conservation and ensure the sustainable use of marine resources.

Representing Timor-Leste at the meeting, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Bendito dos Santos Freitas, discussed with his counterparts from other archipelagic and island states the protection of the world’s marine environment and the sustainable use of marine life for future generations, as the world faces various threats due to global climate change, with the impact of frequent extreme changes in weather patterns causing disastrous consequences for humanity.

Minister Freitas stressed that strengthening the cooperation between the Archipelagic and Island States Forum can contribute to preventing threats against marine life ensuring safeguarding peace and security surrounding Archipelagic and Island States: “The last Senior Officials’ Meeting in Madagascar noted the significant work of the Archipelagic and Island States Forum Secretariat and acknowledged the tangible outcomes achieved through projects and collaborative efforts.”

“We believe that the conservation and sustainable use of marine resources of Archipelagic and Island States is of paramount importance. So, it is crucial for AIS Forum to have an early identification of threats of marine life and adopt measures to address those challenges through international partnerships,” said Minister Freitas at the 5th High-Level Ministerial Meeting of the AIS Forum, in Bali, Indonesia, tuesday.

Freitas highlighted the importance of regional and international cooperation in combating IUU (Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated) fishing, and addressing climate change issues. 

“We underscore that an individual country alone cannot address these complex and challenging threats.  So, I appeal to all AIS members to collaboratively combine our efforts to overcome all the challenges through multilateral and bilateral approaches,” he said.

He said: “Under the 9th Constitutional Government of Timor-Leste, led by Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão, Timor-Leste is committed to cooperating with all international entities including Archipelagic and Island States to combat common challenges in the years to come. One concrete action, Timor-Leste has been implementing the Zero Plastic policy since the 8th constitutional government and endorsing the Timor-Leste National Ocean Policy through appreciation of the Council of Ministers from the previous governments.”

Minister Freitas reiterated Timor-Leste’s commitment to cooperate with other archipelagic and island states to mitigate the threats and risks to marine life.

Freitas congratulated the Indonesian Government for the excellent organization of this 5th Ministerial and 1st High-Level Meetings of AIS Forum: “Our deep appreciation to the government and the people of the Republic of Indonesia for the warm welcome and hospitality accorded to me and my delegation since our arrival in this beautiful Island of Bali.”


Journalist: Camilio de Sousa

Editor: Filomeno Martins


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