The Indonesian Ministry of Law and Human Rights will push for illegal fishing to be included as a transnational organized crime (TOC) at the 61st Annual Session of the Asian-African Legal Consultative Organization (AALCO).
The meeting will be held at the Bali Nusa Dua Convention Center (BNDCC), Bali, on October 16-20.
“Indonesia is pushing for AALCO members to include illegal fishing as an organized crime,” Law and Human Rights Minister Yasonna H. Laoly stated at a media gathering on the preparation of the 61st Annual Session of the AALCO here on Monday.
Laoly assessed the need to voice the issue of illegal fishing, as it has caused economic losses.
The minister stated that in 2019, economic losses due to illegal fishing in the ASEAN region had reached US$6 billion, while in several countries in Africa, the economic losses had touched US$2.3 billion.
To this end, as the meeting’s host, Indonesia is encouraging AALCO member countries to include illegal fishing as a TOC. Thus, parties found to be violating can be charged with the provisions of international law.
The minister explained that AALCO must protect the interests of its members from pressure from other parties, who state that illegal fishing is only an administrative issue.
He assessed that cooperation and support between countries is the key to ensuring that the ocean wealth of AALCO member countries is not eroded.
According to Laoly, the 61st Annual Session of AALCO will discuss issues related to the violation of international law in Palestine, environment and sustainable development, international trade and investment law, asset recovery, and maritime law that covers the illegal fishing issue.
“Apart from those important issues, the 61st Annual Session of the AALCO is followed by several side events in the form of panel discussions, presenting expert speakers from within and outside the country,” he explained.
Some of the side events are forums on business and investment, asset recovery, international humanitarian law, and the Hague Conference on Private International Law.
The meeting will be attended by 47 AALCO member countries, 44 observer countries, 24 observer organizations, two observer authorities, and two permanent observer countries.
During the series of events of the meeting, the Ministry of Law and Human Rights will also involve local micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and representatives of ministers and government agencies.
“It is in the form of an exhibition on the sidelines of the event to promote superior products of Indonesian MSMEs,” Laoly stated.