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Jakarta Post

The archipelagic-state concept a quid pro quo

  • Damos Dumoli Agusman and Gulardi Nurbintoro

Jakarta   /   Sat, December 14 2019   /  01:40 am

On Dec. 13, 1957, then-prime minister Djuanda Kartawidjaja declared that Indonesia drew baselines connecting the outermost points of Indonesia’s outermost islands. The waters within the baselines should then fall within Indonesia’s sovereignty as internal waters with innocent passage for foreign vessels permissible. The Djuanda Declaration, as it became known, rejected the traditional concept of drawing a baseline surrounding each island disregarding the archipelagic nature of a country. This latter ancient method had left countries like Indonesia vulnerable to foreign threats as pockets of international waters existed between Indonesian islands. Djuanda’s “unilateral” declaration born 62 years ago was met with numerous protests from foreign countries, particularly those with major interests in maritime navigation. Indonesia’s brightest scholars and diplomats were immediately...