European Union and Indonesia hold the 6th Human Rights Dialogue
The sixth session of the EU-Indonesia Human Rights Dialogue was held on 28 June 2016 in Brussels. The Delegation from the Republic of Indonesia was led by Mr Dicky Komar, Director for Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs while the Delegation of the European Union was headed by Mr Julian Wilson, Acting Director for Asia-Pacific, and Mrs Anette Mandler, Head of the Human Rights Division in the European External Action Service.
The Dialogue took place in a cordial, open and cooperative atmosphere. It gave both sides a chance to share their experiences of how they have addressed common human rights challenges in both the EU and in Indonesia. The Dialogue proved to be a valuable opportunity to discuss a wide set of issues of common interest, to learn lessons from each other's experience and to agree areas where we intend to work closer together in the future in our constant efforts to improve human rights in the EU and in Indonesia, as well as to work together with third countries, seeking to improve human rights in the wider world.
Both Indonesia and the EU share the same values as regards human rights, governance and democracy. These underpin EU-Indonesia relations at the moment where major new projects, such as our trade and investments talks or cooperation on security, environment and climate change, are driving forward our partnership to new heights. Relations have gained further impetus from the visit of President Widodo to the EU institutions in Brussels in April 2016, preceded the same month by the visit of HR/VP Mogherini to Jakarta.
Both sides provided updates on their respective efforts to promote and protect human rights, including the implementation of Indonesia’s 2015-2019 National Human Rights Action Plan (RANHAM) and the inclusive preparation of its third cycle of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in spring 2017, as well as the implementation of the new EU Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy, adopted in 2015. The EU welcomed the active role played by Indonesia’s National Human Rights Institutions in the Asia Pacific region, and looked forward to further supporting their work.
The two sides agreed to further strengthen the partnership on human rights in the EU and in Indonesia. Specifically, they agreed to pursue concrete cooperation projects in a wide range of areas, including access to justice and penal policy, the countering of violent extremism, the rights of migrants, business and human rights, or the rights of persons with disabilities, as well as persons belonging to minorities and vulnerable groups.
In this discussion, both sides shared the necessity to uphold international human rights and asylum standards in their respective response to the migration and refugee challenges that they were facing. They stressed the importance of transparent and accountable justice systems to deliver justice for all, and welcomed the ongoing reforms undertaken in Indonesia. The EU and Indonesia discussed the death penalty, with the EU explaining its experience in adopting alternative criminal penalties to combat crimes. The EU noted, in this context, the importance of a comprehensive policy to effectively combat the scourge of drug trafficking, working on both the supply and the demand side, and offered its cooperation.
The two sides exchanged best practice on Corporate Social responsibility and on the elaboration of National Action Plans on Business and Human Rights along the UN Guiding Principles and Indonesia’s policy on respect of human rights in the fisheries industry, welcoming the forthcoming launch of negotiations for a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement that gives a further impulse for cooperation in these matters. The EU welcomed Indonesia’s insights on countering-violent extremism and its experience based on the promotion of a tolerant society and interfaith dialogues. Both sides stressed the need to be attentive to persons belonging to minorities and vulnerable groups, ensuring non-discrimination in their exercise of the freedoms of religion or belief, opinion, expression, association and peaceful assembly, as well as of their economic and social rights.
The two sides discussed cooperation in international fora, in particular UN human rights fora, both on thematic and country-specific resolutions. The EU welcomed Indonesia’s willingness to engage further with the UN Special Procedures Mandate Holders. Both sides share the importance for States to progress in the implementation of the UPR recommendations. Furthermore, both sides welcomed the positive experience of the first EU-ASEAN Policy Dialogue on Human Rights in October 2015 in Brussels, and looked forward to the holding of such meetings regularly, as agreed in Brussels. The next session will hopefully still be held in the second semester of 2016.
Both sides agreed that the next dialogue round would be held in Indonesia in 2017.