This year`s OOC is themed "Our Ocean, Our Legacy," as it reflects choices and actions to maintain the sustainability of the oceans` resources and to preserve the oceans` health, as a heritage that serves as a legacy for the children and grandchildren.
People have an option to choose the kind of legacy they will leave behind for the future generations and that choice depends on the actions they take today.
The OOC is expected to be attended by nearly two thousand people from some 70 countries.
At least, six heads of state and government, two vice presidents, and 36 ministers from several countries have confirmed their participation in the OOC.
Among the leaders expected to be present are Prince Albert II of Monaco, President of Nauru Baron Waqa, President of the Republic of Palau Thomas E. Remengesau, President of Micronesia Peter Christian, President of New Caledonia Philippe Germain, President of Marshall Island Hilda Heine, Vice President of Seychelles Vincent Meriton, and Vice President of the Republic of Panama Isabel De Saint Malo de Alvarado.
The gathering will also be attended by representatives of 200 civil society organizations and non-governmental organizations.
To be officially opened by President Joko Widodo, the conference will present prominent keynote speakers, such as the Prince of Wales via a video message, European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Karmenu Vella, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Norway Ine Eriksen Soreide, and Visiting Distinguished Statesman at Carnegie Endowment for International Peace John Kerry.
Other speakers present at the conference will include Head of the Indonesian Board for Disaster Management (BPBN) Willem Rampangilei, former prime minister of Australia Malcolm Turnbull, coordinator of the Marine Programme World Heritage Center at UNESCO Dr Fanny Douvere, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine of Ireland Michael Creed, and Ocean Unite, and former president of Costa Rica Jose Maria Figueres.
This year`s OOC will be the first ever to be held in an Asian country. The first and second OOC in 2014 and 2015 were held in the United States, the third in Chile in 2016, and the 4th in Malta in 2017. The next conference after Bali will be held in Norway in 2019.
As the OOC host, Indonesia will play a leadership role in the maritime and fishery sector, Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi and Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti noted in a joint statement issued on October 17, 2018.
"This is in line with the maritime diplomacy, which the Indonesian government has continued to actively exercise," Marsudi noted.
At least six issues to be raised during the OOC this year are notably, sustainable fisheries, marine protected area, marine pollution, climate change, sustainable blue economy, and maritime security.
This year`s OOC will also maintain the crosscutting themes of sustainable blue economy and maritime security, as introduced by the European Union in 2017.
The Bali meeting will comprise plenary meetings, exhibitions and Our Ocean, Our Legacy Youth Leadership Summit. Participants are also encouraged to host side events to showcase leadership and foster greater commitments to preserving the oceans.
Minister Marsudi vowed that the fifth OOC 2018 will be different from the previous ones, as the Indonesian government is determined that the conference yield commitments in carrying out concrete actions for the protection of oceans, preservation of maritime natural resources, and other related issues.
Meanwhile, Minister Pudjiastusi said the issue of blue economy is deliberately brought forward in an effort to bring to reality sustainable fisheries.
"(This aims) to preserve marine resources and to keep them productive," she emphasized.
She reiterated that maritime security held greater significance, as the future war is no longer over political interests, ideologies, and religions but more over control of shrinking supplies of food and water resources.
At the forum, Indonesia will share its view of bold action in bringing about a change in its fishery policy with sustainable management, she stated.
The minister believed that Indonesia, as the host of the OOC 2018, will enjoy huge economic gains. Sustainable blue economy and various other action plans will boost the maritime economy and prevent harm to the sea. These are among the varied benefits.
Moreover, the implementation of OOC 2018 will highlight Indonesia`s international leadership in the maritime field.
"Indonesia that harbors the vision of becoming the world`s maritime axis needs to demonstrate its leadership in the maritime field," she remarked.
Lying between the Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean, Indonesia is one of the world`s largest maritime countries, with some 5.8 million square kilometers of marine territory. (WDY)