Wednesday, June 20, 2018

1) Indonesia Slams UN Human Rights Office Over Planned Papua Visit

2) Indonesia Hopes to Flex Diplomatic Muscle With Security Council Seat
3) When Indonesia sits on the Security Council

1) Indonesia Slams UN Human Rights Office Over Planned Papua Visit
By : Sheany | on 3:23 PM June 20, 2018
Jakarta. Indonesia has criticized the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, saying that his regional office in Bangkok should first coordinate with the government before sending a mission to Papua, instead of demanding immediate access.
"It is deeply regrettable that the staff members of his regional office in Bangkok, instead of coordinating the planned visit with Indonesian authorities, have unilaterally set the dates and areas to visit in Papua and West Papua, while demanding immediate access," Hasan Kleib, Indonesia's permanent representative to the United Nations in Geneva, said in a statement on Tuesday (19/06).

The statement, delivered during a general debate session at the United Nations in Geneva, came in response to a remark by UN human rights chief Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein, who said the government's invitation to his office to visit Indonesia's easternmost provinces had not yet materialized.
"In Indonesia, I am concerned that despite positive engagement by the authorities in many respects, the government's invitation to my office to visit Papua – which was made during my visit in February – has still not been honored," Zeid saidduring the 38th session of the Human Rights Council on Monday.
During his three-day visit to Indonesia in February, Zeid expressed concern over the excessive use of force by Indonesian security forces, harassment, arbitrary arrests and detentions in Papua. He was in the country at the time to meet with government officials, who invited his office to visit the country's poorest region.

According to Hasan, the UN human rights chief informed the Indonesian government that his regional office in Bangkok would represent him on the visit.
In a follow-up, Hasan said staff of the regional office "misleadingly acted" as if a mutually agreed schedule was already in place for the visit, but that the Indonesian government had yet to grant them access. He added that this conduct was deplorable.
Hasan said Indonesia is still committed to invite Zeid or his office to visit Papua but asserted that the regional office in Bangkok must respect the principles of consent by the host government in the future.
For years, political grievances and an active independence movement in Papua have generated headlines, in spite of the government's focus on economic development to improve the situation.
In a report published in November last year, the Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict said Papua has suffered human rights violations in the past, while there are ongoing issues of torture, excessive use of force, lack of accountability and restrictions on civil liberties.


2) Indonesia Hopes to Flex Diplomatic Muscle With Security Council Seat

June 20, 2018 1:54 PM Krithika Varagur
Indonesia has been chosen as one of five non-permanent members of the United Nations Security Council after a competitive bidding process, inaugurating what is likely to be a period of greater diplomatic and geopolitical activity for the world’s fourth largest country.
This is Indonesia’s fourth time on the Security Council, the most powerful U.N. body, which is charged with maintaining “international peace and security.” Non-permanent members are elected every five years; the 2019 lineup also includes Germany, South Africa, the Dominican Republic, and Belgium.
Despite its size and population, Indonesia has not always been a vocal geopolitical actor, focusing instead on economic growth and internal affairs. But in recent years, it has pivoted toward becoming a regional power, leading major efforts on maritime security and also expressing solidarity with Muslim communities in places like Myanmar and Palestine. Indonesia Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi has already said that the Palestinian issue will be a “concern” for Indonesia during its Security Council tenure.

Marsudi heavily lobbied member states in advance of the election last week. Indonesia competed against the Maldives for one of the non- permanent seats allocated to Asia and Africa.
After the election, she told reporters that Indonesia would prioritize “peace and stability [and] combating terrorism and radicalism.”
“We will continue to advocate for greater transparency and accountability,” said Marsudi. “We will always make ourselves available and accessible to all members, to listen to their concern and expectations and bring those voices to the council.”
Potentially increased role
A non-member state only has five years on the council so its powers are somewhat constrained from the start. But one area where Indonesia might make an impact is in peacekeeping, since it currently ranks “9th out of 121 contributing countries to U.N. peacekeeping operations,” according to the Lowy Institute.
The seat could also reinforce Indonesia’s vision of being a “global maritime fulcrum, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s ambitious plan to make Indonesia a regional maritime power both in the economic and security spheres.

“Indonesia could use its seat to advocate more for maritime security,” said Pandu Utama Manggala, a researcher at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies in Tokyo. “The world is no longer only dealing with terrorism and extremism, and Indonesia has many more areas in which to contribute.”
“Indonesia and the U.K. are the only two countries in the next Security Council with huge maritime borders, which will give them authority on the subject,” he added. “Maritime security includes things like piracy, smuggling, and human rights, so it is a broad issue.”
Beyond the U.N. effort, Indonesia also created a foreign aid agency for the first time earlier this year, another indicator of a more outward-looking foreign policy.
Limits of action
But not everyone is sure that the Security Council seat will translate to real power.
“It’s all about the prestige,” said Yohanes Sulaiman, a lecturer at General Achmad Yani University. “Jokowi is not really that interested in foreign affairs and Retno is not that forceful either, she is more of a safe player.” He contrasted the present, decentralized era of Indonesian politics under Jokowi to the last time Indonesia had a Security Council seat, under President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
“Now it’s different from the SBY years, when power was centralized and Indonesia could make a point on the world stage,” he said. “Jokowi lets everybody talk… there is no coordination.”
Political analyst Aaron Connelly also wrote on Twitter that he was “not quite so optimistic” about Indonesia’s human rights commitments, because “Indonesian diplomacy on the Rohingya crisis has been superficial and feckless thus far, and Jakarta is likely to oppose sanctions or an [International Criminal Court] referral” for Myanmar, which has been accused of perpetrating a genocide against the Muslim Rohingya minority.

Indonesia may also be yet unprepared for scrutiny into its own human rights record; just yesterday, the country barred the U.N. high commissioner for human rights from entering its eastern provinces of Papua, where there has been a long-running separatist conflict and ongoing violence.
In fact, some of the most promising diplomatic overtures from Indonesia are coming from non-state actors. A leader of the Indonesian Sunni Muslim organization Nahdlatul Ulama, considered the world’s largest Muslim organization, visited Israel last week for an interfaith dialogue, despite the deep current anti-Semitism in Indonesia. The same leader, Yahya Cholil Staquf, also met with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence in the White House last month.

3) When Indonesia sits on the Security Council

20 June 2018 12:00 AEDT
Indonesia has successfully won its bid for a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council 2019–20, but what is the country likely to achieve?
There are, of course, significant constraints to what a non-permanent member of the Security Council can do within the UN structure. There is still room for movement, however, and there will be pressure for Indonesia to fulfil the expectations of those who elected them on the basis of its “partner for peace” campaign. 
Indonesia outlined its primary aims in seeking a seat as: (1) promoting global peace and stability; (2) working towards a better synergy between international and regional organisations with regards to building peace and stability; (3) sustainable development; and (4) promoting global cooperation on terrorism, radicalism, and extremism.
During its last stint as a non-permanent member of the Security Council in 2007–08, Indonesia was seen as “a moderating voice and consensus builder”, and is expected to take on a similar role this time around. Given that Indonesia’s foreign policy within Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is predicated upon consensus and negotiation, these are natural skills for Indonesia to employ on the international stage. 
It is unlikely Indonesia will push for any big changes during its tenure on the Security Council. While some have wondered whether Indonesia will raise the South China Sea issue, this seems exceedingly unlikely pending significant changes to the situation. Indonesia is constrained by its commitment to ASEAN consensus, and unlikely to be willing to mount overt challenges against China. 
The best options for Indonesia on the Security Council lie in bolstering its soft power through continuing to be exemplars of peacekeeping (currently ranking 9th out of 121 contributing countries to UN peacekeeping operations), working towards building consensus between non-permanent members on various issues, and drawing attention to regional issues of importance to Indonesia. Winning attention for regional issues proved difficult for Australia during its 2013–14 tenure; hopefully Indonesia will fare better. 
I believe there are two key areas where such action would be particularly valuable: the Rohingya crisis, and the rights of migrant workers. 
Given the longstanding difficulties of the Rohingya in Myanmar, the crisis will be ongoing come 2019. Even if the repatriation process goes well, Rohingya people remain without citizenship and vulnerable to further outbreaks of violence.
Indonesia is well placed to be a mediator and leader on this issue, and it will be a valuable opportunity for the country to achieve the goal of linking global and regional organisations with regards to peace-building. The Security Council has been accused of being “impotent” on the Rohingya issue, and so it is a key area for Indonesia to flex its strength at consensus building.
The rights of Southeast Asian migrant workers has come to be a key regional issue, yet one which has not garnered a great deal of international attention. The issue became prominent this year following the violent deaths of two migrant domestic workers: Adelina, a 21-year-old Indonesian working in Malaysia; and Joanna Demafelis, a 25-year-old Filipino working in Kuwait. Indonesia, along with the Philippines, is a major advocate for regional reforms.
While progress has been made within ASEAN with the creation of the ASEAN Consensus on Migrant Workers, some observers believe the worst abuses are occurring in countries outside ASEAN. Indonesia’s position as a non-permanent member of the Security Council will provide a vital chance to focus international attention on the issue and work towards advancing synergy between international and regional organisations.
Winning the non-permanent seat is not only a soft-power victory in itself, but also provides an invaluable opportunity for Indonesia to achieve its goals of peace and security, to enhance its reputation, and draw attention to regional issues.

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