Ms. Wiwiek Setyawati Firman
Delegation of the Republic of Indonesia
Before the Third Committee Sixty First Session
of the United Nations General Assembly
on Agenda Item 63
(a): Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Children
(b): Follow-Up to the Special Session on Children
New York, 12 October 2006
My delegation appreciates the reports of the Secretary-General, particularly his updated report on progress achieved in realizing the commitments set out in “A World Fit for Children”. The report notes the growing trend to mainstream a pro-children’s perspective into national plans of action.
However this trend does not really reflect meaningful concrete progress on the ground. Much work remains to be done in order to be on-track with child-related goals and targets. Next year, during the mid-decade review process, we expect to get a better picture of our progress and the remaining challenges we have to face.
One such challenge is children and armed conflict. Indeed, this issue is an alarming one. My delegation agrees with the observation in the Secretary-General’s report of the need to apply international standards and norms to effectively protect children in situations of armed conflict. However, the report also acknowledges that engaging Member States systematically is essential to ensure effective implementation of such standards and norms. In this regard, my delegation is encouraged by the Special Representative’s constructive approaches.
In Indonesia, “A World Fit for Children” is being implemented under the national framework on the promotion and protection of human rights in order to ensure a coherent and coordinated approach. Indonesia has incorporated child-related goals and targets in its National Action Plan on Human Rights. For further implementation of the Action Plan, around 300 committees have been establish at provincial and municipal levels throughout Indonesia.
The National Programme for Indonesian Children 2015, adopted in 2004, clearly reflects four major areas related to “A World Fit for Children". It includes child-related goals that form part of the Millennium Development Goals. In this context, my delegation wishes to share our progress and the challenges we face in implementing our child-related commitments.
To implement the nine-year compulsory school programme, the Government has been collaborating with national and international stakeholders to provide quality education. This is being done by rehabilitating school buildings, developing better curricula, building teacher capacity and strengthening school management. National quality standardization forms part of this thrust. These measures are expected to make Indonesian children competitive at the global level.
The recent success of Indonesian students in the Physics International Olympiad in Singapore and the First Step to Nobel Prize in Chemistry held in Germany clearly confirm the progressive and effective nature of this approach.
Another challenge is providing education for children affected by the May earthquake in Yogyakarta. Having learned much from the 2004 tsunami, the Indonesian Government, with the full support of donor countries as well as concerned national and international agencies, such as UNICEF, is undertaking a “back to school programme”.
“Child friendly” schools have been introduced to ensure a stimulating learning environment. These are permanent institutions that have facilities such as clean running water, separate toilets for boys and girls and access for disabled children. Similar facilities have been constructed in areas affected by the May earthquake, particularly Yogyakarta.
In the area of promoting healthy lives, the Indonesian Government, with the support of UNICEF and WHO, concluded a national polio immunization programme last May, benefiting 24 million children in 33 provinces across Indonesia. This was the result of a concerted effort to prevent the country becoming re-infected by the virus and to regain its polio-free status.
In order to ensure the emotional and psychological well-being of the nation’s children, our President in his message to commemorate National Children’s Day last July, emphasized the free provision of birth registration for every child in Indonesia as a fundamental human right. This was considered essential to protect the child’s right to an identity. The President strongly urged local authorities all over the country to implement this programme.
As a way of guaranteeing the protection of children against abuse, exploitation and violence, the Indonesian Government has been promoting the establishment of Child Protection Commissions at provincial and district levels. Steps are being taken as well to formulate a National Action Plan to combat violence against children.
Concerning the fourth goal, children affected by HIV/AIDS, my delegation agrees with the Secretary-General that greater attention must be paid to antiretroviral treatment. This should be balanced with proper prevention measures, especially those related to mother-to-child transmission of HIV. Equally important is the need to address the protection of children orphaned or made vulnerable by HIV/AIDS.
In this context, my delegation welcomes the UNICEF initiative to lead an inter-agency technical task team on advocacy, planning and support for the implementation of HIV/AIDS programmes for children in various affected regions.
Finally, Mr. Chairman, let us renew our commitment to materialize our promise of A World Fit for Children so that the mid-decade review process next year will find us well ahead toward that ends.
I thank you.
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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