Statement Delegation of the Republic of Indonesia at the General Debate of the 100th Council Meeting of the International Organization for Migration

December 7, 2011 Human Rights and Humanitarian Issues

Mr. Chairman,

Distinguished delegates,

First of all, allow me to convey my delegation’s best wishes and congratulations to the International Organization for Migration upon their 60th anniversary. May I also take this opportunity to express my delegation’s gratitude to the IOM for their commitment and tireless efforts in assisting migrants all over the world in a humane and organized manner.

Mr. Chairman,

Indonesia sees migration as an important national priority and development strategy. Moreover, the mere fact that some 215 million people migrate every year creates a pressing need to work together to address this ongoing issue, both now and in future years. Unfortunately, the rate and volume of human movement around the planet frequently exceeds many countries’ ability to manage migration.

Migrants are part of a particularly vulnerable population. Yet, if we align this fact with the issue of the global mobility of labour, we must recognize that migrant workers play a vital role in the global economy, being the foundation for economic development in many societies and contributing to the growth and prosperity of both host and sending countries.

Having said this, it is also true that migrant workers are not an economic commodity. Consequently, they should not be treated as a mere production factor. Hence, policies and strategies should be developed to ensure that migrants gain their fair share of the economic pie.

Because of this, for Indonesia and many sending countries, the issue of protecting and empowering migrant workers is, and should continue to be, a core issue of international migration and, in our view, an ongoing theme of the migration discourse.

Mr. Chairman,

Indonesia believes that IOM’s protection mandate needs to be maintained. IOM has long participated in and coordinated humanitarian response, providing assistance and protection for migrants as appropriate.

In particular, Indonesia appreciates IOM’s cooperation and collaboration in managing issues related to irregular migration, people smuggling and trafficking in persons in the Southeast Asian Region through the Bali Process.

Thus, Indonesia will continue to prioritize migration issues, notably those related to the protection of refugees, IDPs, stateless persons and others of concern to the IOM, especially the issue of irregular migration. Building a stronger regional framework and engaging in international cooperation is also an important concern.

We, the global community, bear a common and shared responsibility to look for practical solutions together to migration problems and to provide humanitarian assistance to migrants in need.

In this regard, we appreciate the prompt and efficient manner with which IOM has handled migration emergency and crisis situations, especially those which have occurred recently in the Middle-East and North Africa.

We also need to observe closely the potential impacts of recent economic political developments worldwide on the global mobility of people. Taking all of these into account, the rationale for enhancing the protection of migrants becomes even more pertinent.

In conclusion, Mr. Chairman,

The cooperation between IOM and Indonesia, although not bound by formal membership, is consistent with the fact that Indonesia hosts the biggest IOM operation in the world. We see the benefits of this engagement and look forward to developing our cooperation yet further in the future.

Migration issues will always be a national priority for Indonesia – indeed, its growth as a trans-boundary and cross-regional issue is unavoidable. Therefore coordination with national and international organizations, including IOM, is a key element of success. To this end, our commitment to the global migration issue remains firm and unwavering.

Thank you.


Geneva, 7 December 2011