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Cablegate: Facilitating Tri-Border Maritime Security

VZCZCXRO7582
PP RUEHBZ RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHJA #2584 2570917
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 140917Z SEP 07 ZFF4
FM AMEMBASSY JAKARTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6272
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS PRIORITY
RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 1170
RUEHLM/AMEMBASSY COLOMBO 0939
RUEHKL/AMEMBASSY KUALA LUMPUR 2381
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 1353
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 0793
RUEHWL/AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON 1755
RHHJJPI/USPACOM HONOLULU HI

UNCLAS JAKARTA 002584

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EAP, EAP/MTS, EAP/MLS, EAP/RSP, INR/EAP, S/CT

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV MARR PREL PTER ID RP MY
SUBJECT: FACILITATING TRI-BORDER MARITIME SECURITY

1. (U) This cable is Sensitive but Unclassified -- Please
handle accordingly.

2. (U) SUMMARY: Delegations from Indonesia, Malaysia and
the Philippines and observers from Brunei, Australia and the
United States participated in a multilateral maritime
security conference August 27-29 in Cebu, Philippines. The
USPACOM-sponsored conference was successful in developing
recommendations to overcome gaps in cooperation within and
among tri-border countries in maritime security policy,
operations and information sharing. END SUMMARY.

3. (SBU) The Joint Inter-Agency Coordination Group of the
U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM), with the assistance of a
contracted Philippine NGO (Asia Pacific Security Forum),
sponsored the conference, which included representatives from
U.S. missions in the region and civilian-military delegations
from Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia. Working groups
developed recommendations in each area for application at
national, bilateral and multilateral levels. There was broad
acknowledgment of the need for better national interagency
coordination of maritime efforts and for effective
multilateral frameworks for working trilateral issues among
countries. Delegations were surprised to learn that many
bilateral agreements already existed to address cross-border
security, although some were outdated. The Indonesian
delegation offered to host the next conference in Indonesia
in August, 2008.

4. (SBU) INTERAGENCY MECHANISMS: The conference structured
working group sessions around the task of filling matrices
containing a range of means and objectives pertaining to
maritime security. Groups were asked to create solutions to
operational problems. One recurrent variable was the
presence of national interagency coordination. This was then
translated into an assessment of existing institutions in the
three countries. The Philippines' Coast Watch South, for
example, was not yet operational. Indonesia's Bakorkamla
(Maritime Security Coordinating Body) was just beginning to
establish its role. The new Malaysian Maritime Enforcement
Agency (MMEA) was still finding its way in implementing
interagency cooperation.

5. (SBU) SEARCH FOR INTERNATIONAL SOLUTIONS: The exercises
also highlighted the need for institutional structures to
facilitate trilateral consultations. While no clear
consensus emerged as to which policy structure was best,
delegations frequently mentioned ASEAN's security framework
(ARF/ASPC/SOMTC) as a possible model and the emerging
Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asia Growth Area
(BIMP EAGA) as another. Other potential frameworks were the
International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the
Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC). Delegations also
noted the need to operationalize the 2002 Agreement on
Information Exchange and to ratify the 2007 ASEAN Convention
on Counter Terrorism.

6. (SBU) COMMENT: The conference confirmed what we know
about deficiencies in national interagency processes in
participant countries and the need for better coordination
among those same countries. The conference was targeted to
highlight these needs, and participating delegations'
awareness of them is a measure of its success. Embassy Kuala
Lumpur's regional security initiative coordinator cleared
this message. END COMMENT.
HUME

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