Statement by H. E. Mr. Dian Triansyah Djani, Head of the Indonesian Delegation at the Thematic Plenary Meeting on Strengthening International Humanitarian Law, the 31st Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Society

November 28, 2011 Human Rights and Humanitarian Issues

Madam Chairperson,
We welcome the convening of this important conference and also its motto “Our World. Your Move” which gave clear intention that we must take the lead for our world.

Today, we live in an increasingly complex world in which the factors and risks of armed conflicts are getting more difficult to predict and to deal with. The feature of armed conflicts has changed dramatically. Needless to say, this phenomenon poses new challenges that more and more civilians become a victim.

These challenges require us to have stronger and more effective shared rules for protecting civilian in armed conflicts. In this regard, there can be no doubt that the value of existing international humanitarian law as a global achievement and responsibility has been universally acknowledged. The importance of applying it is fundamentally important to the protection of civilians in armed conflict.

We are of the view that the existing provisions of international humanitarian law for the protection of civilians and the care of civilian victims of war can meet the challenges of contemporary armed conflicts. What we needed is the fulfilment of earnest implementation of existing IHL.

While we acknowledge the continued adequacy of international humanitarian law for addressing contemporary challenges, Indonesia is of the view that the best way to meet these challenges is prevention and resolution of conflicts.

Indonesia also underscores the need to strengthen cooperation in the development of national legal frameworks for implementing international humanitarian law and ensuring effective protection of civilians in armed conflicts. We should also ensure that vulnerable groups, in particular women and children, are given serious attention in this regard.

Madam Chairperson,

The last point I want to highlight is that application of international humanitarian law needs strong foundation in the national context of each state. One size shall never fit all.  Tailor – made approach for each respective States need to be done in order to acquire better understanding of their challenges with respect to application of relevant international humanitarian law, in addition to a universal approach.    To this end, Indonesia together with Norway convened the Asia-Pacific Workshop on Reclaiming the Protection of Civilians under International Humanitarian Law, in Jakarta on 7-8 November 2010, to ensure broader understanding and explore ways and means to further our common cause.

We would like to underline that all stakeholders should work together in partnership to ensure that the noble cause of promoting and protecting human lifes, particularly victims of armed conflicts, are only taken into account.

In conclusion, Madam Chairperson, my delegation wishes to reiterate the unwavering commitment of Indonesia to promote adherence to and implementation of the rules and principles of international humanitarian law.

I thank you.

Geneva, 28 November 2011