Statement Delivered by Indonesia on the Informal Conversation on Draft PRST on Covid-19, 8 May 2020

May 12, 2020 Topics, Health and Labour Issues

I thank Madame President, and through you I also thank members of the Bureau, for the initiative, the compilation of inputs and for organizing this meeting.

We are indeed in unprecedented situation that requires unprecedented response by the Council while respecting the Council’s work.

We deemed it of utmost importance for the Council to make a pronouncement on the situation of human rights during the COVID 19 pandemic.

While respect of human rights and better protection to human rights defenders such as health profesional and other frontline workers in COVID-19 responses are being addressed in negotiations on the World Health Assembly’s COVID-19 response draft resolution, my delegation is of the view that the Council has the utmost expertise on the matter. 

Therefore, we stand ready to support the effort to enable the Council to adopt the PRST. And we have provided our short and concrete proposals that focus on high commissioner’s function in the UN system  

– to guarantee affordable and equitable access and distribution of medicines, therapeutics, vaccine and health technologies for all in the realization of the highest attainable standards of living;

– to update, as the situation evolves, the effective implementation of obligations as stipulated in Article 2 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights on building global solidarity to assist national authorities in in assessing the magnitude and nature of global shortages and in their supply related planning; and

– to continue to support Member States, civil societies and related stakeholders to counter infodemics related to Covid-19.

Mdm President.

At this stage, Indonesia wishes to reiterate that the protection of basic human rights should also cover other important fields that tend to be overlooked due to recent developments.

The fisheries industry, as a key actor in ensuring food security in these difficult times, for example, remain rampant with human rights abuses against crewmen, form the inhumane working conditions to slavery like condition. Indonesia is particularly appalled by the recent gruesome death of Indonesian fishermen who were working on a foreign vessel.

Since the infamous Benjina human rights violation case at sea in 2016, Indonesia has been fiercely advocating the promotion and protection of human rights in the fisheries industry, through, among others, regulatory reforms and the imposition of heavier penalties for fishery-related human rights violations.

We therefore hope that this PRST can also reflect a strong signal that COVID-19 response must also respect the human rights of those who work in the fisheries industry.

I thank you