European Union External Action

 

EU Ambassador Vincent Guérend's Speech at the official opening of the Support to the Justice Sector Reform in Indonesia (SUSTAIN) project office

Jakarta, 24/11/2015 - 00:00, UNIQUE ID: 160704_1
Remarks

Opening Remarks of EU Ambassador Vincent Guérend at the official opening of the Support to the Justice Sector Reform in Indonesia (SUSTAIN) project office

Selamat Siang,
Your Excellency Mr Muhammad Hatta Ali, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Indonesia,
Your Excellency Mr H. Mohammad Saleh, Deputy Chief Justice for Judicial Affairs,
Your Excellency Mr Suwardi, Deputy Chief Justice for Non-Judicial Affairs,
Honorable Justices,
My dear colleagues, the Ambassadors of the European Union Member States,
Mr Rizky Ferianto, Deputy Minister of National Development Planning for Politics, Law, Defense and Security Affairs,
Mr Christope Bahuet, UNDP Country Director,
Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is my pleasure to be with you all today and represent the European Union (EU) to the official opening of the project office "Support to the Justice Sector Reform in Indonesia (SUSTAIN)".

I wish to extend a special thanks to the Supreme Court for providing the office space for the project team as planned. With the project office housed in the Secretariat Building of the Supreme Court, it will facilitate not only a better coordination between the project team and the Supreme Court leadership, but I believe the capacity building actions provided by the project team and experts shall benefit fully the Supreme Court!

I would also like to convey my sincere thanks and appreciation to Bappenas, KPK, the State Administrative Agency and many other actors for their continued support and collaboration on this project.

SUSTAIN is a € 10 million project (equivalent to IDR 150 billion) funded by the EU and implemented by UNDP. It is designed to strengthen the rule of law and access to justice in Indonesia, in line with the Indonesian Government's priorities identified in its Medium Term Development Plan 2015-2019 and the National Strategy on Access to Justice.

The project – defined as a strategic action in EU-Indonesia development cooperation by the Government of Indonesia back in 2013 – is another illustration of the sustained support which the EU provides to the Government of Indonesia to help further improve governance and the rule of law.

The EU has been supporting the justice sector reform in Indonesia for many years. In particular, its partnership with the Supreme Court is a remarkable example of the convergence between the priorities of the EU support and the mandate of the Supreme Court. This enhances the integrity, transparency and accountability of the justice system.

An independent judiciary that is adequately trained, financed, and equipped to administer justice in an objective, transparent, and efficient manner is a central pillar of the justice system.

Some nine years ago (2006), the EU has indeed funded a major Technical Assistance project, “Good Governance in the Indonesian Judiciary (GGIJ)” which has made a significant contribution to the achievement of the Supreme Court's Blueprints for Judicial Reform. We are pleased to see that some of the SUSTAIN project team members were already associated with this effort nearly a decade ago.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is widely believed that well-functioning law and justice institutions and a government bound by the rule of law are important for inclusive economic, political, and social development. As a result, a number of countries, including in the EU, have turned increasing attention to reforms intended to improve law and justice institutions. The development of an effective and accountable justice sector is a continuous process that requires strong national ownership and leadership to succeed.

The EU recognises Indonesia's far-reaching reforms in the justice sector. We believe it is important to take further steps to sustain the positive results of these reform efforts, including measures to strengthen the independence of the judiciary, as well as the accountability and oversight of law enforcement agencies and respect for the rights of vulnerable groups such as women and children.

Improving the public perception of the integrity of the justice system and the confidence of Indonesian society in the courts is a major undertaking in total conformity with our goal to enhance access to justice for all Indonesians. Similarly is the contribution of SUSTAIN to the government’s high-priority fight against Illegal Unregulated and Unreported (IUU) fishing, with its support to Fishery Courts. The project plans to do the same for environmental concerns, with its ccertification training programmes for judges, is complementing the efforts of the EU on preserving fisheries and forest resources, the environment and fighting climate change in Indonesia and beyond.

The EU has an efficient IUU policy which starts to bear fruits worldwide and has helped Indonesia since many years to develop its fisheries products traceability system for exports. Fisheries crimes constitute a major and increasingly significant threat not only to maritime security and the sustainable harvesting of marine resources, but it is also a question of human rights and sometimes modern slavery that we all need to fight.

Let me also mention that Indonesia may become soon the first country in the world to export certified timber products to the EU, based on a strongly established certification system SVLK; however this does not mean that illegal logging has completely vanished in Indonesia but progress is visible and need to be encouraged.

Combating illegal logging and fighting against forest and peat fires and haze is key to preserve people's health and for saving our precious remaining forests and preventing climate change. Companies and individuals who do not respect the law should be prosecuted accordingly, but this type of actions requires technical skills that a project like SUSTAIN can share across the country with courts and judges, from Sumatra to Kalimantan and Papua!

Therefore you can see through these two important examples how Indonesian and EU policies and priorities do match; and how important is to have and enhanced public trust in the judicial system, increased transparency, efficiency, and improved quality of justice services delivered to the people.

So back to our Justice programme, I look forward to its successful implementation as a major cooperation effort between the EU, the Supreme Court of Indonesia and the Indonesia Country Office of UNDP on the issue of integrity and accountability of the justice system. I am confident that this project will be a landmark in our cooperation with Indonesia.

To conclude, I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to all who have, in one way or another, contributed to the success of today's ceremony.

Thank you for your attention. Terima kasih.

Editorial Sections: