PRESENTATION BY H.E. AMBASSADOR TRIYONO WIBOWO PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF THE REPUBLIC OF INDONESIA TO THE UNITED NATIONS, WTO, AND OTHER INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS IN GENEVA AT THE HIGH LEVEL EVENT CONVENTION AGAINST TORTURE INITIATIVE

March 3, 2015 Human Rights and Humanitarian Issues

Excellencies,

Distinguished delegates,

Ladies and gentlemen,

First of all, let me join other panelists in thanking all of you for your participation in this High Level Event. Your presence here signifies your commitment to our common objective.

Sharing of information and discussion in this High Level Event will be valuable for our future efforts in supporting the ambitious objective of the CTI of achieving universal ratification of the UNCAT by 2024 and ensuring programs as well as address challenges and obstacles toward full implementation of the UNCAT.

I am pleased to update you that at this stage, the CTI has successfully established its programs and activities for 2015. This will ensure positive impact in our global and regional efforts as well as at national level, especially in supporting countries to expedite the process of ratification and improve capacity building in implementing the UNCAT. With the support of the Group of Friends as well as other stake holders, the programs and activities will be able to be implemented as scheduled.

Excellencies,

Distinguished delegates,

With respect to division of responsibilities among members of the Core Group of the CTI, Indonesia is trusted with the responsibility of CTI works in the region of Asia and the Pacific. In this regard, allow me to make a brief overview on the progress and challenges toward universal ratification and full implementation of the UNCAT in the region.

In Asia and the Pacific region, currently 43 out of 64 countries in the region, or 67 per cent, are parties to the Convention. While fully aware of the remaining challenges to achieve universal ratification of UNCAT in the region. We should have an optimistic ambition that only by working together we will be able to achieve universal ratification of the UNCAT in Asia and the Pacific region by 2024. In this regard, Indonesia would like to congratulate and welcome the Government of Viet Nam on its ratification of the UNCAT recently. Indonesia also welcomes the efforts being undertaken and the progress made so far by the Government of Fiji to ratify the UNCAT.

Excellencies,

Distinguished delegates,

In general, we observe that several countries in the Asia-Pacific region that are not parties to UNCAT are confronted by policy challenges related to priority and national consensus as well as national legislations. Meanwhile, countries that are parties to the Convention encounter challenges on efforts to harmonize the UNCAT into their national legislations, capacity building and human resources development as well as preparing the periodic report of the Convention.

It is a matter of fact that national legislations in some countries of the region generally do not include definition of torture and some of them remains in the process of establishing or improving the definition in accordance with the UNCAT. In this regard, it is necessary to support the efforts of those particular countries in increasing and strengthening collaboration between government, parliament and civil societies to develop the definition of torture.

On the capacity building and human resources development, it is important to note the importance to change the mindset and enhance public understanding as well as government official knowledge on the elimination of culture of torture. We should continue our efforts to support domestic efforts on law and policy reform, strengthening the role of national human rights institutions and other potential oversight and human rights bodies,  as well as enhancing the capacity of persons responsible for implementation of the UNCAT e.g. parliamentarians/policymakers, law enforcement and judiciary.

We appreciate the work done by the Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT) to support the work of several governments to address these challenges. Recently, the Government of Indonesia developed trainers’ manual with the support of APT.  The UNCAT manual provides opportunities for relevant government agencies to learn more about UNCAT, exchange views on how to translate UNCAT into domestic practices and policy as well as developing an UNCAT manual that is practical and relevant to Indonesia’s context.

We recognize the fact that most States Parties to the Convention from the Asia-Pacific region are experiencing difficulties in fulfilling their periodic report obligation. In addressing this challenge, it will be necessary to increase programs on reporting training, possibly in cooperation with the Office of High Commissioner of Human Rights and the Committee of Torture. We strongly believe that the preparation process of periodic report can be utilized as positive tool for ensuring progress of implementation of the UNCAT and enhancing coordination among government institutions and national stake holders.

It is also equally important to improve regional mechanism as well as regional efforts in promoting universal ratification of the Convention in the region. We appreciate the work done by the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission for Human Rights (AICHR) in promoting the elimination of torture in the sub-region of South-East Asia. The ASEAN Human Rights Declaration adopted in 2012 recognizes in article 14 that “no person shall be subject to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”. This reference will become foundation of ASEAN member countries to conduct collaboration to promote actions to eradicate the practice of torture in the region. This also represents another encouragement to become party of the Convention for fellow ASEAN members who are not yet do so.

Finally, I would also like to say that the Government of Indonesia is fully committed to enhance efforts for effective implementation of the UNCAT. Indonesia stands ready to support the CTI in achieving its objective.

Thank you.

Geneva, 3 March 2015