The 2nd ASEAN Regional Forum Inter-Sessional Meeting on Maritime Security (2nd ARF ISM-MS) was held in Auckland on 29-30 March 2010. The meeting followed the first meeting held in Surabaya on 5-6 March 2010. Like the meeting in Surabaya, the Auckland meeting was co-chaired by Indonesia, New Zealand and Japan and was attended by 150 delegates representing the 26 member nations of the ARF, with the exception of North Korea.
Speakers from outside the ARF delegates included Dr. Sam Bateman, Commodore (Rtd.), Royal Australian Navy; Captain Probal Ghosh, Senior Fellow, Centre for Air Power Studies, India; Mr. Arthur Bowring, Managing Director, Hong Kong Ship Owners’ Association; Mr. Masahiro Akiyama, Chairman, Ocean Policy Research Foundation; Mr. Paul Campbell, Group Manager Trade and Marine, Customs-New Zealand; Ms. Joanna Mossop, Senior Lecturer, Victoria University Law School; Dr. Stan Weeks, Research Analyst, Centre for Strategic Studies, Centre for Naval Analysis; Dr David Capie, Senior Lecturer, International Relations, Victoria University; Lt. Col. Lee, Weng Foo, Defence Policy Office, Ministry of Defence of China, and Mr. Yoshiaki Ito, Executive Director, Regional Cooperation Agreement on Anti-Piracy (ReCAAP). A representative from the ARF Unit of the ASEAN Secretariat was also present.
The Indonesian delegation was led by the Director General for Asia Pacific and Africa, Ambassador T.M. Hamzah Thayeb, who was accompanied by a number of officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Defence, the Naval Headquarters, the Maritime Security Coordinating Board and the Indonesian Embassy in Wellington with Ambassador Amris Hassan acting as an advisor to the delegation.
On the opening day, Tony Browne, Deputy Secretary, Asia and the Americas of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, as New Zealand’s co-chair to the meeting, gave a keynote address which stressed the importance of maritime security in ARF nations due to fact that almost all the member states were connected by sea. Besides that, the sea was a primary means of ensuring the free flow of trade between the countries represented at the meeting. Furthermore, almost all importing and exporting of the world’s goods were transported by sea, hence the safety and security of such trade was vital.
The meeting discussed two main topics, namely ”Building Common Perceptions on Threats and Challenges in Maritime Security – Facilitating Commerce: Shipping and Port Security” and ”How the ARF can make a difference”.