Indonesia’s performance at the Council continues
to show mixed results. Its voting record in 2014 highlights progress as well as
regress on various issues addressed by the Council, leaving room for future improvement.
Voting Record in 2016
Voting Record in 2015
Indonesia has maintained a level of engagement on country situations consistent with its performance during the past few years. Encouragingly, it voted in favor of the resolution on Syria and shifted from opposing the resolution on Sri Lanka to abstaining. However, Indonesia voted for an amendment that would have deleted the main operational element of the Sri Lanka resolution, and supported a hostile non-action motion presented by Pakistan to adjourn the vote on the issue. Indonesia abstained on the resolutions on North Korea, Belarus and Ukraine. And it regrettably shifted its vote from abstaining to voting against the resolution renewing the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on Iran, raising questions about the consistency of its approach.
Indonesia supported all resolutions focusing on the human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories.
By co-sponsoring a significant number of resolutions under Item 10, Indonesia demonstrated a general openness to the Council’s work on country situations. It also supported the convening of two special sessions in 2014, one on the conflict in Gaza and another on the situation in Iraq. Indonesia rarely intervened in country-specific debates other than those on Palestine, and when it did intervene on other situations, it emphasized its support for the principle of states’ cooperation with UN mechanisms, rather than insisting on addressing patterns of abuses.
Given that Indonesia was re-elected for a second consecutive membership term at the Council for 2015-2017, it should take steps to improve its contribution to the Human Rights Council’s country-specific debates. Indonesia should move away from an approach that too often continues to promote the principle of non-interference to the detriment of human rights protection. It should be more supportive of the Council’s action to address situations of egregious violations, like in North Korea and Iran, use its membership at the Council to press for concrete reforms, and be more vocal during country-specific debates of the Council.
Voting record in 2014
Support for key joint statements in 2014
Indonesia took some positive steps to improve its overall voting record on country situations in the Council, in particular by supporting the Council's action on Syria.
Prior to 2011, Indonesia had systematically voted against all country-specific resolutions put to the vote in the Council. From August 2011 on, however, Indonesia voted in favor of 10 out of 11 resolutions focusing on the Syrian human rights crisis. During this period, Indonesia also abstained on resolutions on Iran and Belarus, rather than voting no. But Indonesia fell back to its negative stance on Sri Lanka, and voted against the Council's resolutions on accountability in that country.
Indonesia voted in favor of all the resolutions focusing on the human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories.
Indonesia did not support any of the key joint statements made at the Council on country situations.
Indonesia co-sponsored 34 country-specific resolutions under agenda items 1, 7 and 10 on technical cooperation in the Council.
engaged on many of the Council's debates on country-specific situations. Indonesia
also played an
active role in negotiations concerning ASEAN countries, such as Burma and
Cambodia. In these resolutions, Indonesia often advocated for weakening
language on violations and strengthening language on progress in these
countries. For example, in deference to Burmese authorities, Indonesia argued
against the adoption of a resolution on the situation of the ethnic Rohingya minority in Burma
in June 2013, arguing that it was too soon to act. However, the Islamic
Conference as a whole pushed for a compromise solution in which the Council
adopted a presidential statement on attacks on Muslims in Burma. The statement urged
the Burmese authorities to immediately put an end to all acts of violence based
on religion and to ensure accountability and end impunity for such abuses.Indonesia
should not use its regional leadership to shield countries from criticism on
well-documented human rights concerns, but rather use the Council's country-specific
debates to press them to engage in much needed reforms.