H.E Dr. R.M. Marty M. Natalegawa
Permanent Representative of the
At the Security Council Open Debate on
“Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict”
New York, 26 June 2009
I should preface by thanking the Security Council in organizing this meeting, and the Under Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mr. John Holmes, for his statement.
Notwithstanding the pronounced focus on the issue protection of civilians in armed conflicts over the past decade, the deplorable fact remains: civilians continue to fall victims of violence.
Persistent violations occur that includedeliberate targeting on civilians, the indiscriminate and excessive use of force, sexual and gender based violence; in violation of international law, human rights law and refugee law.
Indeed, in many instances, we have been witness to attacks against relief workers and humanitarian aid convoys and others engaging in humanitarian assistance to the civilians from the effects of war.
Indonesiahas, and will continue to remain, firmly committed to address the impact of armed conflicts on civilians.
We are cognizant of the five core challenges identified in the Secretary-General’s report (S/2009/277) for their protection.
We concur that key is the failure of parties to comply fully with their obligations to protect civilians in armed conflict.In this respect, all parties to armed conflicts should adhere to relevant international laws, including the 1994 Convention on the Safety of the UN and Associated Personnel and its Optional Protocol.
We value the Security Council’s efforts, consistent with its Charter-mandated responsibilities, in protecting civilians in armed conflict; meriting the wide support of regional and international actors alike.
At the same time, it is worth underscoring that the best protection from armed conflict is in its prevention and resolution.
The Council should spare no efforts in this area.
By the same token, the Security Council should lend its full support to the efforts of regional organizations in addressing dire humanitarian situations.
A “culture of protection” must continually be promoted through regional and international organizations. This would sustain attention to the issue and promote concrete action by the various actors.
It is Indonesia’s view that there are three key prerequisites with regard to this crucial issue.
First, respect for humanitarian principles needs to be continuously maintained. The rapid and unimpeded access of humanitarian personnel should be ensured consistent with international humanitarian law. Likewise, humanitarian personnel are subject to the principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality, independence, respect of sovereignty, territorial integrity and national unity of states.
Second, in the conduct of hostilities, parties should do everything feasible to protect civilians and civilian objects.
Third, examples of good practices should also be noted and where feasible implemented to ensure that populations in urgent need acquire consistent assistance.
Finally, Mr. President, let me reiterate that all efforts to protect civilians in armed conflict must be founded on the tenets of human rights, security and development; the three pillars of the United Nations.These three principles should be reflected in the next report in commemoration of the tenth anniversary this coming November.
The tenth anniversary should also serve to maintain the momentum by strengthening the UN system with Member-States and other stakeholders to work in a coordinated, coherent, comprehensive, and cooperative manner. An approach that includes development and humanitarian dimensions is required, supported by the political will states to ensure that civilians are protected in time of armed conflict, and in time of peace.
I thank you.
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