STATEMENT BY THE VICE-SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE REPUBLIC OF INDONESIA HE. FADLI ZON THE MORAL AND ECONOMIC IMPERATIVE FOR FAIRER, SMARTER AND MORE HUMANE MIGRATION
EXCELLENCIES SPEAKERS AND VICE SPEAKERS OF THE PARLIAMENTS,
MEMBERS OF IPU,
HIS EXCELLENCY PRESIDENT OF IPU, Mr. SABER CHOWDHURY,
DISTINGUISHED DELEGATES, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,
Assalamualaikum Wr. Wb.
Peace be upon us all.
I am very pleased to be here with you in this important Assembly to discuss on the issue of migration, a matter that has been one of the world’s attention for so long, and becomes very urgent recently when safety of the migrants and its impact need our attention and efforts to resolve it.
Indeed, we are facing the challenges of humanity, the greatest ever to be compared to the human influx during the World War II. For days, weeks and months, an unprecedented migration and refugee crisis have occurred in large parts of the world.
These people are fleeing wars and conflicts from their homeland such as the Middle East, Africa as well as South East Asia. Millions have fled from their countries to the neighboring countries and Europe, around 600,000 by sea and sadly thousands reported dead or missing.
This large human tide has sparked challenges and debate within European countries. We understand the burdens that European may have as it will impact their national identity or it will lead to deeper social-cultural challenges in the future.
Within such context, there is an urgent need to have a European-wide agreement in dealing with the wave of such migration. It is a shared responsibility with the need to sacrificing part of our interests.
As winter draws near only by months, there will be more people, refugees and asylum seekers who live in tents, roads, or shelters, freezing and waiting for the decisions of the Europeans. If they cannot decide, many more will fall. I encourage our European counterpart to provide decisions that are considered to be fair to all members and humane to the refugees.
Although that it may lead to solution, there is concern over certain preference on the refugee status determination process, arguing that to some countries, discrimination will prevail under the basis of religious background.
Within this context, Indonesia urges parties to the convention to deeply incorporate the implementation of human rights principles in the resettlement process. No one shall be judged under the basis of race, age, sex or certain religious background.
Indonesia supports international migration to be treated as a multi-dimensional reality of major relevance for the development of countries of origin, transit and destination. It should be addressed in a number of different substantive policy areas, including health and population, natural disasters, climate change, education, gender equality and in the case of remittances. Hence, cooperation among countries of origin, transit and destination is of crucial importance and should be continuously pursued.
Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen,
As a non-party to the refugee convention, Indonesia deems the influx of refugee as irregular migration. Yet, we receive many of these migrants, most of them are seeking for status as refugee. As per August 2015, a total of 13,110 persons of concern—refugees and asylum seekers—are in Indonesia (UNHCR data).
We share no legal responsibility of the convention. Be that as it may, the history of conflicts and the true value of solidarity that we have, taught us that humanity exist for no cause.
In Aceh, Indonesia, we provide shelter to the Rohingya migrants who have been in perilous journey, fleeing from conflict and being stateless. More than 1,300 Bangladeshi and Rohingyas have been saved by the local people of Aceh. In Medan, Indonesia, we take a good care those with no state before they took for a new dawn away from their nightmare.
Indonesia comes with options in managing this kind of migratory phenomenon. But it requires a multilateral response. International solidarity should be at the forefront of this humanitarian situation. We have agreed to take care the Rohingya migrants by creating temporary shelters in some areas.
I would also like to draw your attention to the fact that almost half of the world’s migrants are women and girls. Women who migrate as refugees are prone to sexual abuse, social and cultural discrimination. Not to mention if women, girls and elders risk their lives in a fully contained boat and stranded at the sea.
The morality of receiving these migrants lies not only in the international documents, but in our heart. Parties to the refugee convention shall adhere their laws to carefully provide a well-received solution to migrants including the refugees. While those who are not, may share the burden by contributing to the countries receiving the migrants through humanitarian assistances.
It is important also to remain vigilant when it comes to managing the negative impact of irregular movement of people. Based on our experiences, the motive is not always political, but also economic opportunity, which was then being exploited by crime syndicate to smuggle and traffic them. We therefore need to take stern action, individually or collectively, to combat this smuggler and bring them to justice.
Honorable Members of Parliaments,
Indonesia underlines the importance of addressing the root causes and other contributing factor of the recent influx of irregular migrants, and combating the people smuggling and human trafficking.
Conflicts in many parts of the world has trigger the massive wave of this human movement, while at the same time, due to the inequality of world’s economic, people will always strive for a new journey, risk their lives in search of better opportunity.
The newly declared Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) address these issues in a comprehensive situation. Peace has been the integral part of the 2030 vision and fighting inequalities will be a lofty endeavor towards global prosperity. Within this context, Indonesia urges the international community as well as the parliaments to step up, to contribute and engage more to support the successful attainment of the promises of the SDGs.
Mr. President and Members of the IPU,
Let me also emphasize the need to bring peace to the contributing countries of such irregular movement.
We urge for a new international measure to bring an end to the war and conflicts in particular in Syria. The situation in Syria has caused suffering and forced nearly 12 million people to leave their home.
Thanks to the generosity of its neighbors: Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, and Iraq as well as North Africa where they have made shelters for more than 4 million Syrians, the lives of these migrants are saved. Some of them are now in and heading to Europe, waiting for the chance to rebuild their life.
Syrians conflict has also brought more pain to those Palestinian refugees who live in Syrian Palestine refugee camp. They have been severely affected by the ongoing armed conflict. Of the total 560,000 Palestinian refugees in Syria, almost all require assistance while peace in Palestine is persistent to be in question.
These Palestinian refugees have lost both home and means of livelihood due to the conflict. To this we must provide any necessary means to support the Palestinian sovereignty and independence, to bring back their home and livelihood. Indonesia welcomes the international community response and support on the UN GA resolution which allowing the flags of non-member observer States including Palestine to fly in the United Nations (UN). The support is instrumental to further recognize the sovereignty of Palestinian people and bring back the land, the home, the livelihood that they should deserved for.
I strongly emphasize that in order to resolve war and conflict, the UN Security Council should be the venue of which it holds the values and principles of UN Charter. If they fail, the international security regime will lose trust. I call upon the UN members to stop politicizing the UN Security Council and seek for durable solution to the issues.
Humanity has called us to put an end to these war and conflicts.