Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi speaks at the Third Universal Periodic Review, or UPR, at the United Nations headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, on Wednesday (03/05). (Photo courtesy of the Foreign Ministry)

Human Rights in Indonesia Under Review at the United Nations


MAY 03, 2017

Jakarta. Indonesia said during a review on the 27th session of the United Nations' Universal Periodic Review in Geneva, Switzerland, on Wednesday (03/05) that the country's top developmental priority is to reduce disparity between the rich and the poor and protect the human rights of all its citizens.

"Human rights is part of our DNA as a democratic, pluralist and diverse nation," Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said during her opening speech at the session.

This is the third cycle of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) on Indonesia, a process which reviews human rights records of all United Nations member states.

According to Retno, Indonesia has made a lot of progress since its last UPR in 2012, including coming up with a series of human rights-based legislative measures and increasing cooperation with human rights institutions and civil societies in Indonesia.

She added that under President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, Indonesia has worked hard to protect the economic, social and cultural rights of its citizens by implementing pro-people and pro-prosperity policies and programs including the Indonesian Smart Card, Indonesian Health Card and Family Welfare Card.

"Reducing disparity between the rich and the poor is our top priority. We champion the economic and social rights of all Indonesians," Retno said.

In a comment on Papua, Minister Retno said the government is committed to speed up development in the region as well as improve its human rights records in the troubled province. According to Retno, President Joko Widodo always keeps himself abreast of infrastructural development in Papua and is in constant dialogue with local communities.

The function of the UPR, run by the Human Rights Council, is to remind member states of their responsibility to respect and implement all human rights and fundamental freedoms, and to address human rights violations whenever they occur.

"Indonesia has continued to take an active role in promoting and championing human rights at the international level," Retno said.

Following the Indonesian delegation’s opening remarks at the session, 109 countries gave their recommendations for Indonesia, with many voicing concerns over its continued application of the death penalty, alleged discrimination against marginalized groups and recent attacks on the rights to freedom of expression and religion.

The Indonesian delegation at the session was jointly led by Foreign Minister Retno and Minister of Law and Human Rights Yasonna Laoly.