November 3, 2010

Statement by H.E. Mr. Dian Triansyah Djani, Permanent Representative of Indonesia at the 9th Session of the Working Group on Universal Periodic Review – Consideration of the UPR Report for Maldives

Mr. President,

On behalf of Indonesia, I would like to thank H.E. Dr. Ahmed Shaheed and the delegation of the Maldives for presenting a frank and comprehensive national report to the Human Rights Council.

First of all, we believe it is important to note that over the past two years, the Maldives has undergone significant democratic reform.  As a country which also experienced dramatic political change over a decade ago, Indonesia understands that changing mindsets and raising awareness of human rights in an era of reform can be a challenging process which needs time and dedication.

In addition, we note that poverty remains a major obstacle to the fulfillment of basic human rights of the Maldivian people.  We therefore support the government’s drive to implement more effective pro-poor growth an employment creation strategies and recommend that the government continue to effectively implement these strategies.

As an island nation, we also acknowledge the impact climate change can have on a wide range of human rights in the Maldives including the right to life, to food, and to adequate housing and we hope that the international community will be able to assist national efforts to combat this urgent problem.

Mr. President,

Indonesia also commends the Maldives for it’s great progress in improving the human right to health.  The country has already met MDG targets 4 and 5 on child mortality and maternal health and Malaria has been successfully eradicated from the country.

We also note that the advent of the democratic era has presented the government of the Maldives with a new opportunity to tackle and improve the human rights situation for women in the country. The establishment of the The National Gender Equality Policy is welcomed and we recommend that the government continue to improve efforts to combat gender-based violence and establish a mechanism for protecting abused women.  .

In terms of the illegal trafficking of persons, an increasingly prevalent issue in the era of globalization, Indonesia recommends that the Maldives enact legislation to criminalize this activity and put in place procedures to deal with those people vulnerable to exploitation and trafficking.

Mr President

As a multi-cultural nation, with a Muslim-majority population, Indonesia understands both the challenges and the great benefits of ensuring communities of all faiths and religions have an equal place in a democratic society and  we recommend that the Maldivian government make necessary amendment to their legislation to ensure communities of all faiths and religions have an equal place in a democratic society.

Thank you.

Geneva, 3 November 2010

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