Maritime Cooperation Track:

Bringing INOS and UMT to The Forefront at The 2024 Asean-Australia Special Summit

By Wan Izatul Asma W Talaat

Hosted by the Australian Government in collaboration with Blue Security, a consortium of Australian Universities, the Maritime Cooperation Track during the 2024 ASEAN-Australia Special Summit brought together leading and emerging maritime experts from across ASEAN, Timor-Leste and Australia to discuss four topics: Marine Environment, Maritime Security, Maritime Law and Governance, and the Blue Economy. The aim of the Conference was to advance academic cooperation and provide recommendations on regional maritime issues to senior officials and policy makers.

In recognition of her research expertise, Professor Wan Izatul Asma Wan Talaat, the Head of Centre for Ocean Governance of INOS, UMT were appointed as Chair in the Environmental Issues: Marine Ecology and Climate Change panel session on Monday 4 March. As Chair, she was also invited to participate in the Maritime Cooperation Track 1.5 Dialogue on the morning of Tuesday 5 March. Building on presentations the day before, the half-day Dialogue provided the opportunity to discuss options for practical maritime cooperation between ASEAN and Australia with senior maritime officials from ASEAN Member States, Timor-Leste, the ASEAN Secretariat and Australia.

In serving her role as the Chair to the Marine Environment session, she had the opportunity to shape discussions in front of over 100 leading and emerging Southeast Asian and Australian maritime experts and officials on varied issues of environmental importance. Being able to speak as an expert as well as a Malaysian delegate at the close session of the Maritime Cooperation Track 1.5 Dialogue, she highlighted pressing issues on marine environment and climate change, in particular in addressing marine plastic litter through international cooperation.

Serving as a chair who navigated the Marine Environment session has also brought INOS, UMT in the limelight when she received an email from CSIRO for the Workshop on the Biogeographic Regionalisation for the Indian Ocean on 25-27 March 2004 as Malaysian representative with full board sponsorship. This workshop was subsequently delegated to and attended by two younger academics, Dr Mohd Safuan Che Din and Dr Afiq Durrani Mohd Fahmi. She made full use of her being in Melbourne during the Summit by attending side events on Marine Plastic Pollution and Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction hosted by CSIRO and ANCORS, University of Wollongong at RMIT on 6 March 2024, right before boarding the flight back to Malaysia.

It is hoped that the participation in the Maritime Cooperation Track and the side events during the 2024 ASEAN-Australia Special Summit will bring INOS and UMT into the limelight as well as more international maritime cooperation in the future.

Chairing the Marine Environment session during the Maritime Cooperation Forum: Conference on 4 March 2024

During the Maritime Cooperation Track 1.5 Dialogue on 5 March 2024

With Mr Gerard Thomson, First Assistant Secretary, Southeast Asia Strategy and Development Division, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, who chaired the Maritime Cooperation Track 1.5 Dialogue

Side Events on Marine Plastic Pollution and Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction hosted by CSIRO and ANCORS at RMIT on 6 March 2024

With delegates from Wisma Putra (the Director General of Maritime Affairs) and ANCORS, INOS partner under HICOE Project on Marine Scientific Research Guideline