Dr. Makmur Sunusi
Director for Children Welfare Services – Ministry Social Affairs
Forty Four Session of
the Commission for Social Development
On Agenda Item 3 B
Follow-up to the world Summit for Social Development and the
Twenty-Fourth Special Session of the General Assembly:
Review of relevant United Nations
Plan and Programmes of Action
Pertaining to the Situation of Social Groups
New York, 13 February 2006
The Indonesian delegation is grateful for the report provided by the Secretary-General on ageing and the report by his Special Rapporteur on opportunities for the disabled, since both reports serve to remind us that we have unfulfilled obligations to these social groups. In making its contribution to the discussions, Indonesia associates itself with the views expressed by the Representative of South Africa on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
The two reports at hand provide us with many useful insights about the situation facing the disabled and the aged. Drawing on the information contained in the Special Rapporteur’s report, it would seem that the wide gap between commitment and reality persists because the needs of the disabled do not inspire nearly as much action by policy- and decision-makers as they should. The report is crystal clear: without the active cooperation, support and advice of Governments, relevant organizations and other stakeholders, helping the disabled becomes an extremely difficult mission to achieve. Indeed, the task is weighed down by many challenges, not the least of which is inadequate financing.
In the face of a lack of official enthusiasm and limited resources, the Special Rapporteur must therefore be commended for her tireless efforts as international advocate mobilizing Governments, policy- and decision-makers on behalf of the disabled. We are encouraged by her many successes, including having disability paragraphs incorporated into the 2005 World Summit Outcome document.
To ensure continued progress, Indonesia fully supports the recommendations put forward by the Special Rapporteur. Without a doubt, it is only through a dedicated collaborative effort at every level will the international community create a new world for the disabled, focusing on their strengths and capabilities and less on their limitations.
Concerning the ageing, my delegation shares the importance of the bottom-up approach which permits the principals to actively participate in the review and appraisal of the Madrid Plan of Action. This approach includes efforts to permit older persons to identify age-related challenges that need attention and to help create solutions to those challenges. In addition, through exchange of experience and expertise at all levels, we can identify and utilize relevant best practices related to the implementation of the participatory approach of the Madrid Plan of Action.
To obtain the best results in the future, Indonesia fully endorses all actions to maintain the spotlight on the agenda for the elderly. We agree with 2007 being the target year to consolidate findings at the global level and for appropriate modalities to be identified to conduct the regional review and appraisal of the implementation of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing, starting this year.
With regard to the theme for the first cycle of the review and appraisal, we support the proposed theme, “Adjusting to an ageing world”. But we believe that some consideration should also be given to other proposed themes mentioned in the report, taking into account the need for elasticity to accommodate the diverse interests, concerns and priorities of different Member States over the five-year cycle of the review and appraisal process.
Like so many Member States, Indonesia has been laying the foundation for the creation of a truly ageing friendly society. But more than that, we have also been working on creating an enabling social environment beneficial to the disabled, the young and families in general. Indonesia is fully aware that development results from the accomplishment of universally accepted economic and social goals, both of which are mutually reinforcing.
In response to the needs of older persons, Indonesia remains fully committed to the implementation of the 2002 Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing, a commitment made evident by the adoption of Law No. 13/1998 and the establishment of National Commission on Ageing in 2004. In Indonesia, the needs of the older persons have had a strong impact on the formulation and implementation of national development policies. Those needs are being addressed by the National Plan of Action on Ageing, 2003-2008.
In keeping with the spirit and explicit recommendation of the Madrid Plan of Action, the participation of the elderly in their communities has been greatly enhanced. Indonesia has also designated 29 May as the National Day of the Elderly and, with the cooperation of NGOs, has established an International Training Center on Ageing.
With regard to the nation’s youth, the main concern is to establish a sound employment policy framework at the macro-economic level. In this regard, we have drawn inspiration from the World Programme of Action for Youth to the Year 2000 and Beyond. This world programme provides a universal policy framework and practical guidelines for national action and international support to improve the situation of youth. Indonesia’s active participation as lead country to the Youth Employment Network is its exemplary commitment to the WPAY. In addition, vocational training centers for youth have also been established for empowering youth in the area of employment.
The Indonesian Government has also developed a national youth center (Karang Taruna) to facilitate youth activities and to reduce and prevent juvenile delinquency. Young people who are active in the center will be able to share information about pressing social issues impacting the quality of life of youth. In addition, the Government has placed heavy emphasis on putting measures in place to safeguard young people from social ills such as human trafficking, drug abuse and the spread of HIV/AIDS. Through the National Strategy on HIV/AIDS 2003-2007, Indonesia commits to address the alarming increase in HIV/AIDS cases caused by injecting drug users (IDUs).
For the disabled, the Government has in place the National Action Plan for Persons with Disabilities. Indonesia fully supports the Decade of Disabled Persons in Asia and the Pacific Area (1993-2002) as well as the Biwako Millennium Framework for Action towards an Inclusive, Barrier-free and Rights-based Society for Persons with Disabilities in Asia and the Pacific. Work is also being done to infuse the programming activities of government institutions and the private sector with the goals of national legislation designed to assist disabled persons. Indonesia is heartened by the progress achieved so far in the negotiations for a convention on disability and is therefore committed to actively engage in future deliberations. At national level, in close collaboration with donor countries, the Government has established National Vocational Training Center for persons with disabilities.
With regard to the family, the Government places heavy emphasis on the well-being and empowerment of the family as the basic unit of the society. Whether older persons, young or disabled, every human being is the product of a family. Several programmes have therefore been put in place to benefit families of all categories – vulnerable families, those with social and psychological problems, or those with socio-cultural problems and also wealthy families. The wealthy are being asked to provide financial support for programmes to help families less fortunate than themselves.
To empower these families, steps have been taken to build their capacity and make them more resource resilient. They are also being provided with training to cope, for instance, with the stresses resulting from the many problems they face. Supportive social networks and partnerships such as counseling agencies for family welfare are being built up to assist them and efforts are being made to restore wholesome traditional values to these families so that they can endure the pressures of modernity.
In closing, Indonesia would like to reiterate its support for the various initiatives being considered by this session of the Commission on Social Development. With the focus being given by this session to the needs of the ageing, young and the disabled, it is hoped that greater efforts will be made at all levels in the immediate future to improve the quality of life enjoyed by these different social groups. The momentum for positive social change must be maintained.
Permanent Mission of the Republic of Indonesia to the United Nations, New York
325 East 38th Street, New York, NY, 10016, USA
Tel: 1.212.972.8333, Fax: 1.212.972.9780 - www.indonesiamission-ny.org