Indonesia: Naval officers discuss law of war at sea

21 November 2016
Indonesia: Naval officers discuss law of war at sea
CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC / Mia Pitria

With maritime and territorial disputes a feature of the Asia-Pacific region, the law of naval warfare is of particular relevance in this part of the world. A recent workshop in Surabaya, Indonesia, brought together naval officers from all across the region to spend five days discussing maritime security, focusing on the laws of armed conflict at sea.

The workshop involved 37 senior naval officers from Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Fiji, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Maldives, Myanmar, New Zealand, Pakistan, the Philippines, the Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor-Leste, the United States of America and Vietnam.

Christoph Sutter, head of the ICRC's delegation for Indonesia and Timor-Leste, highlighted the dangers of clashes in waters crossed by the world's busiest maritime trade route.

Christoph Sutter, head of the ICRC's delegation for Indonesia and Timor-Leste, highlighted the dangers of clashes in waters crossed by the world's busiest maritime trade route. CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC / Mia Pitria

Amir Sjarifudin, deputy head of the Indonesian Navy, opened the workshop, with Christoph Sutter and Tri Rismaharini, the mayor of Surabaya.

Amir Sjarifudin, deputy head of the Indonesian Navy, opened the workshop, with Christoph Sutter and Tri Rismaharini, the mayor of Surabaya. CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC / Mia Pitria

The sessions were facilitated by military experts from Indonesia, England and Australia, together with ICRC specialists on the armed forces and the law of the sea.

The sessions were facilitated by military experts from Indonesia, England and Australia, together with ICRC specialists on the armed forces and the law of the sea. CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC / Mia Pitria

The five-day workshop was an opportunity for navies from South-East Asia to share ideas and discuss cooperation.

The five-day workshop was an opportunity for the region's navies to share ideas and discuss cooperation. CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC / Mia Pitria

A participant presents his work to officers from several of the region's navies during the workshop, which covered not only naval warfare but also anti-piracy operations, rescue and the movement of people at sea.

A participant presents his work to officers from several of the region's navies during the workshop, which covered not only naval warfare but also anti-piracy operations, rescue and the movement of people at sea. CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC / Mia Pitria