The school of graduate studies of Parahyangan Catholic University held a national seminar on Thursday April 16, 2015. The seminar conducted in the building of the school of graduate studies at 30, Merdeka St, Bandung was titled “The World’s Maritime Axis: the Golden Bridge of Asia and Africa. This seminar coincided with the preparatory week of the city of Bandung in facing the Asia Africa Conference. Hundreds of participants from various institutions enthusiastically followed the seminar.
In session II, there were three presenters from various backgrounds and a lecturer from International Relations, Mr. I Nyoman Sudira, Ph.D as the moderator. The three presenters were: Dr. Abdul Rivai Ras, M.M., M.S., M.Si (the director of the Defense University Indonesia), Rizal Sukma, Ph.D. (director of CSIS Jakarta), and Dr. Arifin Rudiyanta, M.Si. (a special staff to the minister of PPN (National Development Planning) in planning and maritime affairs).
Indonesia is a strategic country sandwiched between two oceans and two continents. According to Rizal Sukma, the familiar description of Indonesia has to be understood as the identity of a maritime nation. An archipelago with a vast nautical area made it natural for Indonesia to be a maritime country. The shift of center of gravity from the west towards the east serves as an opportunity for Indonesia to grow along with other Asian developing countries like China, South Korea, and Japan. This geographically strategic position on the world’s trade route enables Indonesia to be a country with considerable power (highly influential in the world).
In his closing statement, Rizal Sukma described the four relevant aspects of the world’s maritime axis to the Asia Africa Conference to be held on Friday April 24, 2015. One of them is Solidarity. The change in the world’s power distribution will enable Asia to be a continent with strong countries from many aspects. The cooperation to be nurtured among Asian and African countries will hopefully eradicate the gaps among them. As has already been reported, the Conference to be hosted in two locations, Jakarta and Bandung, will produce three documents namely; Bandung Message, the Declaration on reinvigorating the New Asian-African Strategic Partnership, and the declaration of Palestine.
The seminar which coincided with President Joko Widodo’s visit to check the preparations of the Asia Africa Conference is a form of attention paid by the academicians of Parahyangan Catholic University to the issue of Indonesia as the world’s maritime axis.