Right of Reply Delegation of the Republic of Indonesia to the statement made by Commission of the Churches on International Affairs of the World Council of Churches, 22 March 2022
Thank you Madam Vice-President,1. My delegation exercises this right of reply in response to the statement made by the World Council of Churches.
2. It is regrettable that they have used this agenda item to make unwarranted accusations towards Indonesia, despite our open-door communication policy for civil society to voice their concerns directly to our government, including to our Mission here in Geneva.
3. Indonesia’s openness to interact directly with civil society organisation reflects our strong commitment to work together with civil society in the promotion and protection of human rights.
4. We reject the accusations and assessments made, that were not only incorrect, but are also one-sided, selective and neglects human rights progress made in the provinces of Papua and West Papua.
5. Physical and human development in the Provinces of Papua and West Papua continues to be undermined by armed separatist groups, who have intensified attacks against civilian populations and critical infrastructure since 2018.
6. Two weeks ago, on 2 March 2022, armed separatist groups murdered 8 telecommunication workers who were repairing a telecommunication tower in the Puncak Regency in the Province of Papua.
7. The fear of exposure to further violence by these armed separatists, have driven many residents to flee their homes to other villages and cities in Indonesia.
8. Despite such tremendous risks, the Indonesian Government continues to take concrete actions to address the situation of internally displaced persons on the ground.
9. Rebuilding efforts in the districts most affected by armed separatist violence remain on-going.
10. Focus has been placed in reinstating public services such as healthcare, electricity, education, and adequate housing.
11. Indeed, the rebuilding process has proven to be very challenging, as it became very difficult for the government to recruit essential workers such as contractors, doctors, and teachers, who are willing to take part in the rebuilding process, due to fear of being exposed to physical harm, or even death.
12. One thing has been very clear: meaningful and inclusive development, as well as comprehensive and collaborative measures in the handling of IDPs can never be attained in Papua and West Papua for as long as there continues to be attacks and kidnappings against civilians and government officials who work towards achieving those goals.
13. We cannot expect to see progress when those who work towards progress are being attacked.
14. We cannot expect a smooth delivery of essential services and humanitarian aid, when those who deliver them are under constant fear of their lives.
15. Indonesia’s robust human rights mechanism, including its domestic remedies, continue to address the situation to ensure the safety and security of all civilians in all of our provinces.
16. In response to the statement that “there is no dialogue for peace”, I must reiterate that dialogue is part and parcel in Indonesia’s democratic system.
17. Moreover, decentralization, as so misleadingly undermined by the WCC, is implemented to enable direct interaction between duty bearers and rights holders, including in Papua.
18. Indonesia will continue to advance an inclusive approach in strengthening human rights respect on the ground as well as in pursuing environmentally friendly development.
19. Indonesia is determined to enhance our state apparatus’ knowledge on human rights through continued training and by equipping them with human rights guidelines.
20. At the same time, Indonesia will continue to nurture our robust national and sub national human rights machinery to continue to address human rights challenges on the ground.
21. Again, it is regrettable that the WCC statement is far from doing justice to the victims of armed separatist groups’ attacks, showing clear bias in their stand in this regard.