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H.E. Ambassador Desra Percaya


Permanent Representative

Republic of Indonesia to the United Nations

At the

United Nations General Assembly Thematic Debate

Role of the International Criminal Justice in Reconciliation


New York, 10 April 2013


Mr. President,

Thank you for convening this thematic debate. Let me join you, in saying that the international criminal justice is no longer in its infancy, and it is now the time for us to review the impact of it to the world.

I would also thank the Secretary General for his introductory remarks.

Mr. President,

Indonesia reiterates its support to the global efforts to end any form of impunity for crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression. We also maintain that the International Criminal Court as the first and only permanent tribunal in dealing with those serious crimes is expected to deliberate equal justice and promote impartiality. For this reason, Indonesia supported the adoption of the Rome Statute and establishment of the International Criminal Court.

In this context, accession to the Rome Statute remains a priority in our National Plan of Action on Human Rights for 2010-2015. With a view to paving the way toward accession to the Rome Statute, the Government of the Republic of Indonesia has also taken several important steps to build and develop both normative and institutional infrastructures.

In relation to the principle of complementarity, Indonesia reemphasizes the importance of Paragraph 10 of the Preamble and Article 17 of the Statute. The concept of “inability” and “unwillingness” should not serve easily as a pretext to provide continuous preference to ICC intervention. The principle is one of the cornerstones of the architecture of the Rome Statute, and we truly believe that effective implementation of this principle would increase the universality of the Rome Statute.

Hence, it is important for us to see how the Court is presently functioning and how the principle can be sustained and further strengthened.We believe that the application of the principle of complementarity is the key to the success of the ICC in further promoting criminal accountability for the culprits of the heinous crimes in the future. 

In this respect, National court should be given the primary role in the prosecution of human rights violations.  The ICC is in no way means to replace national courts to prosecute the human rights offenders on those core crimes.  The ICC does not have priority jurisdiction over such crimes.

Mr. President,

Indonesia believes that giving opportunity for States to investigate and prosecute, at their capacity, perpetrators of gross violation of human rights will help solidify adherence to the principle of rule of law. This is also a reflection of genuine spirit of partnership among nations, based on respect for sovereignty and political independence of States.

For Indonesia, realizing the principles of justice and rule of law is fundamental in our national development. This strong conviction comes from our very experience of more than 30 years living under authoritarian regime.

Without supremacy of law, which allowed for proper check and balance, injustice occurred throughout the country. And as we know too well, injustice or other acts of violation bring nothing but hatred. In the case of Indonesia, this outcome also moved some parts of the country to communal conflict and separatist movement.

Yet Indonesia is now a thriving democracy. Furthermore, the experience of living under an autocratic regime has taught Indonesia the value of justice and rule of law. Therefore, when we began our transition to democracy, more than 10 years ago, we started by redrafting our Constitution. Elements that are vague or opened the possibility of preventing democratic rules to prevail were amended. Systems that allow for proper check and balance and respect for human rights were put in place.

Press and civil society were encouraged to develop themselves into a functioning element of democracy.

This whole process of transition from authoritarian rule to a democratic one is of course not easy. At one point, some people even suggested that Indonesia would disintegrate, and ceased to become a unitary State.

Fortunately, that suggestion did not occur. Indonesia now even bears the fruit of effort. Our democracy is indeed not a perfect one but our determination to preserve it is unquestionable. Democracy entails in itself good governance, justice, and the rule of law. They have allowed us to maintain our territorial integrity, preserve peace and harmony among our people, and foster our development.

By sharing this story, I wish to align myself with the exact proposition of this interactive debate, which is the instrumental role of justice and rule of law in maintaining peace, security, and prosperity.

Mr. President,

The role of United Nations, in particular General Assembly, in propagating the spirit of justice and rule of law has been widely recognized. The last year convening of the High Level Meeting on the Rule of Law is just one such example.

But we still have a long way to go. In some parts of the world, we see democracy triumph and justice flourishes. But in other parts of the world, we still witness conflict and injustice prevails. This poses a great challenge for the international community.

Against this backdrop, Indonesia would like to reiterate its call for a strong national capacity to implement principles of justice and rule of law. To this end, Indonesia believes that human resources, legal framework, institutions, and above all, a national perspective that upholds supremacy of law, must continue be nurtured and disseminated in a widest spectrum of society.

United Nations can and should play critical role in this area, particularly in coordinating international efforts to help States developing their own legal institutions. Within this framework, we would like to renew our call for a more concerted effort by the international community in helping countries strengthening their national capacity in implementing rule of law, and achieving justice.

Training and other form of capacity building should be further intensified to allow for sharing and exchanging of knowledge and best practices.

Nonetheless, Indonesia wishes to reiterate the importance of national ownership in implementing rule of law and achieving justice. The development and improvement of legal institutions and perspective must of course be in conformity to each nation’s history, culture, and way of life.

Yet all this national process must also observe the internationally-recognized principles of transparency and inclusiveness. Only through this way, the national character of each State can be fully reflected in its legal system.

Mr. President,

[Reconciliation Process and Best Practices?]

Thank you, Mister President.

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   -


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