PRESS RELEASE MALAYSIA MADE CHAIR OF THE CORAL TRIANGLE INITIATIVE COUNCIL OF MINISTERS
JAKARTA (October 29, 2011): Malaysia has been elected chair of the Coral Triangle Initiative Council of Ministers (CTI-COM) for a two-year term, at the 3rd Ministerial Meeting of the Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries and Food Security (CTI-CFF) held here.
Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Dr. Maximus Johnity Ongkili accepted the chairmanship, which will begin from November 20, 2011 to November 19, 2013, from outgoing chairman Indonesia’s Minister of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, Sharif Cicip Sutardjo, during the closing dinner on Friday night (Oct 28, 2011).
In his speech, Dr Ongkili said Malaysia was committed to the initiative to sustainably preserve, protect and develop the rich marine resources in the CTI region.
“The chairmanship will be a challenge especially as the CTI is in the transition process of establishing a permanent regional secretariat, and in its quest to achieve sustainable financing of its initatives,” he said.
Dr. Ongkili assured that Malaysia would provide its leadership and direction towards achieving the CTI goals of promoting long-term economic growth while sustaining environmental health for the resource-rich region.
Sabah is the only state in Malaysia within the boundary of the CTI map, with an ocean cover of 5.7mil km square of the Sabah waters.
The 3rd Ministerial Meeting of the CTI-CFF was attended by ministers of the six member countries – Malaysia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, The Philippines, The Solomon Islands and Timor-Leste - who also endorsed a joint ministerial statement of the CTI-CFF.
The other four ministers were Papua New Guinea Minister for Environment and Conservation Thompson Harokaq’veh, Philippine Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Ramon Paje, Solomon Islands Minister of Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management and Meteorology John Moffat Fugui and Timor-Leste Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries Mariano Assanami Sabino.
Dr Ongkili also put forward Malaysia’s proposal for the setting up of a CTI-CFF Business Council, which was endorsed by the Council of Ministers in its joint statement.
“The establishment of the Business Council is timely as member countries have expressed the need to engage the private sector to enhance private sector participation in sustainable development of resources through public-private partnership arrangement,” he said.
The joint statement also reaffirms the member countries’ commitment to expedite the establishment of a permanent regional secretariat and it also endorses the CTI-CFF roadmap of activities for 2012. Papua New Guinea has been elected as the council’s vice-chair.
The Malaysian delegates at the meeting included MOSTI Deputy Secretary-General Prof. Datin Paduka Dr. Khatijah Mohd. Yusoff, Sabah Agriculture Development and Food Industries Ministry Permanent Secretary Datuk Ujang Sulani, National Oceanography Directorate UnderSecretary Prof. Dr. Nor Aieni Mokhtar and Sabah Department of Fisheries Director Rayner Stuel Galid.
*Photos are courtesy of Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, Republics of Indonesia.