H.E. Dr R.M. Marty M. Natalegawa
Permanent Representative of
the Republic of Indonesia to the United Nations
at the Open Debate of the Security Council on
“Mediation and Settlement of Disputes”
New York, 21 April 2009
At the outset I wish to commend you for organizing today’s important debate. I am sure that this meeting, under your able guidance, will be fruitful. This important subject continues to deserve our serious attention.
Mediation is built upon a culture of dialogue; an essential ingredient in growing the culture of peace. It is anchored in emphatic listening and mutual communication rather than deafening silence and lingering prejudices. It is also inclusive, incorporating the views of all parties for a comprehensive approach to a conflict.
But in reality, hostile parties often have hard time talking to each other, let one making peace. No doubt, the call for a mediator becomes urgent.
Confidence placed by disputants in the mediator is of primary importance, and thus the selection of an appropriate mediator is of highest credence. It is important that parties are equally treated with respect and dignity at all times and impartiality is consistently upheld.
A successful mediation often begins in the absence of ceremonial episodes and formal procedure. Informality is often a key to the building confidence among parties and promotes a more candid approach. This will yield the possibility of the most suitable solution possible, given the reality of constraint that the parties experience.
The core process of mediation often needs to be away from the spotlight of the media.
In short, time, trust and knowledge as well as adequate logistical backup are critical for a mediator to be successful.
The United Nations has been one of the largest generators of mediation initiatives. We commend actions undertaken by the Secretary General in establishing a mediation support unit within a short period and with strong support from Member States. The mediation support unit has become a practical tool for supporting the good offices and mediation supports of the United Nations and regional organizations.
Thus, Indonesia welcomes the recommendation that the Organization and Member States build local, national and regional capacity for mediation. For that purpose, we attach great importance to a more strategic discussion on establishment of a clearer framework for Secretary General to assist them.
Regional organizations can play a meaningful and effective role in mediation.
It is paramount, then, that the United Nations and regional organizations team up in mediation efforts. While the United Nations has the resources and the experience, regional organization carries with it local content, and it has a greater chance for success in mediation.
The African Union, the Organization of American States and the European Union – just to name a few – are notable mediators.
In our part, in Southeast Asia, Indonesia, with the rest of ASEAN family, has worked together to establish a Charter that would serve as legal and institutional framework for ASEAN. In the Charter, ASEAN sets a fundamental principle of reliance on peaceful settlement of disputes. ASEAN Member States shall endeavor to resolve peacefully all disputes in a timely manner through dialogue, consultation and negotiation. At the same time, ASEAN Charter also provides that ASEAN Member States which are parties to a dispute may at any time agree to resort to good offices, conciliation or mediation. It clearly stresses the importance of mediation as one of the preferable mode of peaceful settlement of dispute.
Indonesiais not only committed to mediation; it is also a passionate advocate of mediation, for we too have reaped the benefits of successful mediation in resolving conflict situations within our borders. Others in our region and beyond have shown interest in drawing upon those experiences.
As a final point, Mr. President, our experiences have taught us one important lesson: mediation does work. Mediation support efforts should be responsive to the demand of fast moving peace processes. Therefore, our need in the future for this peaceful means will remain.
Indonesia welcomes the efforts to further explore ways and means to reinforce the Council’s contribution to the promotion of mediation as an important and cost effective means of settlement of dispute.
I thank you, Mr. President.
Permanent Mission of the Republic of Indonesia to the United Nations, New York
325 East 38th Street, New York, NY, 10016, USA
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