Canada Strengthens Partnership with Indonesia on Security and Human Rights

August 23, 2013 - Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today announced initiatives with Indonesia on human rights and religious freedom and to build capacity in the fights against terrorism and human smuggling. Baird made the announcements following his meeting with Dr. R. M. Marty M. Natalegawa, Indonesia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs.

“Our government is committed to protecting and promoting human rights and religious freedom around the world,” said Baird. “We will continue to work with Indonesian institutions and civil society representatives to enhance security and promote religious freedom and human rights.”

During their meeting, the ministers witnessed and welcomed the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada and Indonesia’s National Agency for Counter-Terrorism on programming related to counterterrorism capacity building.

“Terrorism remains the great struggle of our generation,” said Baird. “Canada and Indonesia are strong partners committed to countering the scourge of terrorism and crime.”

Highlighting the two countries’ shared commitment to close cooperation in addressing security-related issues and combatting terrorism, the MOU provides a framework to guide and facilitate future shared initiatives.

“Canada and Indonesia have shared priorities on many tracks,” Baird continued. “Indonesia has proven to be a good friend of Canada, and we will continue to foster even closer collaboration on security, human rights and prosperity well into the future.”

To learn more about Canada’s relationship with Indonesia, visit Canada-Indonesia Relations. See also Third Canada-Indonesia Bilateral Consultative Forum Joint Statement.

A backgrounder follows.

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Backgrounder - Canada Partners with Indonesia on Security, Human Rights and Religious Freedom

The Government of Canada has partnered with the following Indonesian institutions and international agencies and organizations to enhance security, human rights and religious freedom:

SETARA Institute for Democracy and Peace - $260,000

The mandate of the SETARA Institute is to study and advocate for pluralism, humanitarianism, democracy and human rights; to promote dialogue in conflict settlement; and to engage in public-education activities. The Canadian funding will contribute to:

  • the production of annual reports on freedom of religion and belief;
  • an increased understanding by religious communities of their constitutional rights;
  • the provision of advocacy and networking tools to religious communities;
  • training for teachers on tolerance and pluralism.

RCMP and INTERPOL: Enhancing the Ability of the Indonesian National Police and the Bali Process Regional Support Office to Counter Human Smuggling (Phase II) - $850,000 over two years

This project will train Indonesian National Police officers on vessel boarding and search, specialized investigative techniques to counter migrant smuggling operations, and INTERPOL’s anti-smuggling training and operations program.

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC): UNODC Operational Law Enforcement Capacity to Prevent Maritimes Migrant Smuggling (Phase II) - $955,980 over two years

Building upon the first phase of the project under which port intelligence units were established, this phase will launch activities at these units, enabling them to respond to maritime migrant smuggling activities in Southeast Asia. Fully operational port intelligence units will bolster the region’s ability to collect, develop and disseminate intelligence to detect and prevent future human smuggling ventures destined for Canada. This project benefits Indonesia as well as Thailand and Cambodia.