Mr. Ade Petranto
Before the Third Committee
Sixty-First Session of the United nations General Assembly
On Agenda Item 61
(a): Advancement of Women
(b): Implementation of the Outcome
of the Fourth World Conference on Women and
of the Twenty-Third Session of the General Assembly
New York, 10 October 2006
My delegation expresses its appreciation to the Secretary-General for his reports on the advancement of women, an issue to which my government attaches great importance. In discussing this issue, let me associate my delegation with the statements made by the distinguished Representative of South Africa on behalf of the G-77 and China.
Gender mainstreaming has been a growing phenomenon in the work of the United Nations. However, as noted in the report, gender perspectives are evident only among particular Committees. The limited references to gender perspective in the work of the First, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Committees clearly indicate that stereotypes and segregation remain challenges.
This reality makes the gender deficit in various male-dominated areas of the Organization’s work worse. This is clearly the case in the fields of international peace and security, disarmament, management and budgeting, as well as legal affairs.
My delegation is of the view that while we all recognize that gender mainstreaming is a cross-cutting issue, United Nations bodies should give it the emphasis it deserves. If this is done, it will attract the same attention and effort as other priorities in all aspects of their work.
In relation to this observation, my delegation therefore endorses the report’s recommendations that the recently established subsidiary bodies, the Peace-building Commission and the Human Rights Council, pay closer attention to gender perspectives. This should be done now while they are still in the early stages of developing their work methods and are examining various issues on their respective agendas.
Last year, when world leaders met at the World Summit here in New York, the outcome document reflected their conviction that progress for women is progress for all. This conviction served as a catalyst for the United Nations to undertake further progressive measures to promote gender mainstreaming in all of its policies and programmes.
Against that background, Indonesia’s State Ministry of Women Empowerment has been working to intensify the implementation of its relevant national policies. The Ministry recently conducted gender equality programmes in seven of Indonesia’s provinces. Four community-based organizations and the mass media participated in the programmes.
The programmes cover three main activities, namely networking, capacity building and advocacy for gender-responsive policies by various stakeholders. They form an essential part of a long-term national policy on gender mainstreaming, which will cover all 33 provinces in Indonesia.
Along with that development, two noteworthy trends pertinent to the current situation of women in Indonesia should also be mentioned. The first trend pertains to natural disasters. This year a series of earthquakes and tsunamis hit several areas of Central and West Java. Although not as devastating as the 2004 tsunami, similar pictures of misery and suffering re-appeared. Once again, women and children found themselves among the worst victims.
Having learned much from the 2004 tsunami, the Indonesian Government, in close collaboration with other concerned stakeholders, quickly put into effect gender-sensitive humanitarian measures following the disasters. The response to the specific needs of women, which included the provision of facilities such as sanitation, clean water, reproductive health and counselling, was very rapid.
But help also came from international sources. In this regard, Indonesia wishes to express its gratitude to the international community for its generous support for the victims of the Yogyakarta earthquake last May.
The second trend concerns women migrant workers. Around 77 percent of our 2.1 million Indonesian migrant workers abroad are women, working in the informal sector. Indonesia continues to upgrade the range of legal protections available to these women migrant workers.
In addition to those measures, a special agency consisting of various line-ministries has been set up to evaluate and monitor the movement of migrant workers abroad. Meanwhile, improved practical arrangements concerning the recruitment, pre-departure, placement and returning system have been instituted under a “one roof service”.
As a further form of assistance in this area, advocacy and capacity building are being undertaken among all social groups. This will increase awareness of the issues surrounding trafficking and build up commitment to activities designed to stop that practice.
To ensure comprehensive protection, Indonesia believes it is imperative that similar measures be adopted in countries of destination. A useful initiative in this regard would be agreements with concerned countries on mandatory consular notification to provide assistance to women migrant workers in difficulty.
As cross-cutting issues, gender mainstreaming and women empowerment are never-ending processes. They require partnerships among member countries where each will fulfill a series of responsibilities as mandated by relevant internationally agreed development goals. My delegation therefore urges that we all commit to proving that progress for women is indeed progress for all.
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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