New York — Indonesia has invited archipelagic and island states to forge a closer cooperation to deal with climate change issues, under a new multinational assembly called the Archipelagic and Island States Forum. As the biggest archipelagic state, Indonesia shares the same burden and challenges with other island states in terms of climate change, regardless of the level of development or the size of the country, Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister Luhut Pandjaitan said. “I would like to invite island countries and archipelagic states, big and small islands, developing or developed, large population or few thousands, to get together on regular basis to exchange views and experiences as well as conduct mutual training and exercises in managing our oceans together,” he said in his remarks to the United Nations (UN) members in the plenary meeting of the Ocean Conference on Tuesday (06/06). Such a gathering, he further said, could be coined as the Archipelagic and Island States Forum, where government officials, scientists, the private sector and civil societies were part of the conversation and solution to the shared-common problems such as rising sea level and natural disasters. Luhut explained that such a multinational coordination was urgent to achieve SDG 14 on ocean-related targets, in line with the deadline. “Five of those deadlines are in 2020, just three years away; and several others in 2025. They are all due within the next eight years,” he said. Thus, Indonesia proposed the establishment of an office in the UN headed dedicated by an under secretary-general.