Statement by H.E. Mr. Dian Triansyah Djani, Permanent Representative of Indonesia at the 18th Session of the Human Rights Council, Agenda Item 2 – General Debate Update by the High Commissioner of Human Rights
September 12, 2011 Posted under Human Rights and Humanitarian Issues
Madame High Commissioner,
My delegation would like to thank the High Commissioner for her informative update today. May I also extend a warm welcome to the new President as she chairs her first regular session of the Council and express our appreciation to Ambassador Sihasak for his past Presidency.
Indonesia aligns itself with the statement made by Pakistan and Egypt on behalf of the OIC and the Non-Aligned Movement, respectively.
Indonesia considered the High Commissioner’s update with keen interest, which reflects the overall state of development in the promotion and protection of human rights worldwide.
We are aware that this current session coincides with the dire food crisis currently unfolding in the Horn of Africa, where as many as 750 thousand lives may be at risk. We subscribe to the High Commissioner’s assessment that governments have the primary duty and responsibility to meet their preventive and remedial human rights obligations, including the right to food of their citizens, through good governance and the rule of law.
My delegation is also of the view that international cooperation must play a central role in alleviating the impact of the crisis, inter alia through well-coordinated international assistance and by empowering the capacity of governments and relevant local authorities on the ground to ensure the fulfillment of the right to food of their citizens.
Indonesia is aware of the global economic woes caused by the worsening debt crisis across Europe, America and elsewhere, which will inevitably hamper the full enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights. Having experienced the Asian financial crisis in the 1990s, Indonesia is well aware of the devastating impact of such phenomena on those who are already living in precarious and marginalized situations, especially women and children.
Against this current economic backdrop, the Indonesian government has promoted PRO-GROWTH, PRO-JOB, PRO-POOR development policies which we refer to as a “growth with equity” strategy. No issue is more important to developing and developed countries today than that of employment. For nations, jobs are the engine of development and progress. And for the individual, a job means more than a salary – it means dignity and self-esteem, and the hope of a better future for his family.
Indonesia is equally concerned with the situation of the world’s youth, which is also imperiled as a direct result of the flawed economic policies of their governments. With nearly half the world’s population under the age of 25, young people can make an important contribution to global prosperity. Yet, an ILO report shows that 81 million out of 620 million economically active 15 to 24-year-olds were unemployed. This is the highest recorded number since 1991. We must therefore work together to stem the rising rate of unemployment among young people.
In light of the current economic challenges, Indonesia welcomes the increased priority allocated by the High Commissioner and her Office to the rights of migrants, putting human rights principles at the center of the migration phenomenom, aiming to use human rights mechanisms to protect migrants at all stages of the migratory process. For Indonesia, the issue of promotion and protection of migrant workers should be put as a priority.
Freedom of expression and freedom of peaceful assembly are two of the cornerstones of democracy. Both are also exclusive rights as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Both rights are guaranteed and implemented in Indonesia in accordance with our domestic laws and regulations.
Having said this, my delegation subscribes to the view that the enjoyment of these rights carries with it special duties and responsibilities and may therefore be subject to certain restrictions in a democratic society in the interests of national security or public safety, public order, the protection of public health or morals, or the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.
Madame President, Madame High Commissioner,
We took note of the High Commissioner briefing on the situation in Middle East and North Africa which reminds us of the centrality of the right to freedom of expression and the right to freedom of peaceful assembly in the fulfillment of civil and political rights. While welcoming the commitments and various measures undertaken by governments to reform and meet the demands of the people, we expressed concern over the escalation of tension and violence. We continue to encourage governments to further engage with the international community and underline the need for an inclusive and people led political process aimed at efectivelly addressing the legitimate aspirations of citizens. We encourage peaceful transitions toward democracy in Libya which reflect the wishes and aspirations of Libyans to decide their own future.
I would like to conclude my statement by stressing two points. The first concerns the review by the Council of its work and function, and its subsequent outcome, as contained in Council decision 16/21. It is imperative and incumbent upon us to honor this outcome, which is the result of a hard-earned compromise. I therefore urge the Council to observe and respect every procedural requirement relating to the work and function of the Council as outlined and agreed upon through Council decision 16/21.
Second, and lastly, in the context of the 25th anniversary of the Declaration on the right to development, let me say that, as a member of NAM, Indonesia sees this anniversary as an important opportunity to reaffirm the key role played by responsible and effective development and economic policies, both at the national and international levels, in securing the progress and proper implementation of this right. In this regard, we have no doubt that the Office of the High Commissioner, in fulfillment of its mandate as per GA resolution 48/141, will keep the Council fully updated of its efforts to promote the realization of this right.
Geneva, 12 September 2011