Intervention by The Indonesian Delegation During the Panel on Freedom of Expression on Internet, the 19th Session of the Human Rights Council

February 29, 2012 Human Rights and Humanitarian Issues

Madame President,

My delegation would like to firstly convey its appreciation to all the panelists, including Ms. Armiwulan from Indonesia, for their comprehensive presentations.

Madame President,

Freedom of expressions and of opinion is indeed a cornerstone for a democratic society. It empowers people to develop and allows them to make valuable contribution.  It is also a prerequisite for the promotion and protection of other human rights, including freedom of peaceful assembly an the right to education, among others. Therefore, we concur with the panelists’ views that freedom of expression, including through the internet use, should be continuously promoted and protected.

The Indonesian Constitution guarantees freedom of expression of every Indonesian.

Amidst the resources constraints and geographical challenges, it has become the Government’s priority to develop internet infrastructure throughout the archipelago to ensure wider access to the internet.

Indonesia, on its parts, has enjoyed the privileges of this digital era. In 2011, although internet was accessed by only 18.3 percent of the population, Indonesia ranked as the second largest user of a famous social network, with more than 40 million users throughout Indonesia.

Madame President,

Today there is a great deal of discussion on how the internet, including usage of social media have influenced national, regional and global politics.

While it is undeniable the strategic contribution of social media in promoting and protecting human rights, it is not absolute. It must be balanced with tolerance and rule of law.

Finally, Madame President, allow me to ask the panelists on how best to address the negative access of internet, such as blasphemy, child pornography and trafficking in persons, among others, while at the same time ensuring unhindered access to internet for the people. I thank you.

Geneva, 29 February 2012