At the Human Rights Council, the High Commissioner spotlights more than 60 countries which have seen recent significant improvements – or negative trends. During his oral statements, Indonesia has been mentioned of this 60 countries.
“The Government of Indonesia has made progress in recent years in upholding human rights. I urge the authorities to address my concerns about increasing hostility towards religious and sexual minorities, which appears to be a recent and essentially foreign import to a traditionally tolerant nation. I encourage deeper consideration of the Faith for Rights Declaration of March 2017, which draws together commitments common to many religions and beliefs, and notes that “violence in the name of religion defeats its basic foundations: mercy and compassion.”
Finally, after short dramatic which was happened 5 hours before I take off to Geneva. So here I am! Happy to be back in Geneva! It’s already 8 months since my last 24-hours visit on last October 2015. And now I am back in Geneva for 3-months. Yes. 3-months. This will be my first time to work, live and stay far away from home, family, parents, and friends.
Do you guys want to know what was happened in the last 5 hours right before my departure to Geneva? Just a bit flashback. So, since the very first time they told me about the ticket, what I remember is the ticket will depart on June 16, 2016, at 00.40 am. So that is what I was thinking about until the day I finally depart from Jakarta.
Until one of my colleague in Geneva told me that he will pick me up at the airport in Geneva on June 15 at 13.00 Geneva time. I was kinda bit shocked and weird, because I will depart from Jakarta on June 16 and why he told me he will pick me up on June 15, rather than June 16?! At that time I am still working at the office (in the morning, I took my visa at TLScontact) because I need to finish and pack my things before I go. Then, I saw my ticket for 3 times and was just realised that “OMG! My ticket supposed to be tonight, not tomorrow!”. My hand started trembled, shaking and sweating. I directly calling my Mom and my brother, told them that I am in S.O.S situation which is I will go to the airport tonight not tomorrow, and I will be back at home in an hour to finishing some things to pack!
All of the family suddenly in rush situations! They were started busy as well to prepare a couple of things, to make sure I did not leave any things that I need in there for 3-months!
At 20.30, we all arrived at the airport and Abyan, my baby nephew, was already sleeping in my car. There were my parents, my sister, brother, sister-in-law, grandma, and nephews! I did feel very glad, grateful, funny, and lucky enough that this is the first time they wanted to accompany me to the airport.
At 21.30, I entered the gate, security check, check in my luggage, immigration and then waiting for boarding. I was still laughing at that time if I remember all of my stupidity on that day. But it’s nice, and again, LESSON LEARNED!
Oh, this is also my first time took EMIRATES! I got a new plane as well, so they have a WiFi connection with limited quota and times (valid within 2hrs), but the WiFi will start to connect if we already in over that 30.000 – 35.000 ft. Their food? Well, not really bad. The taste was nice, the serving was very warm! (KLM is very best for food and little things that they offer). But this plane is quite big, even I can longer my legs!
It took around 7hrs from Jakarta to Dubai (then 3 hrs transit)! So I finally arrived in Dubai like 5 am. And from the aircraft parking lot to the airport is quite far, we need to take the minibus to get there (5-10mins). I was waiting until 9.30am for my flight to Geneva.
Arrived in Geneva at 13.35! Alhamdulillah. Joseph, one of my colleague here, pick me up at the airport. Escorted me to my apartment, bought me the unlimited ticket buses, to the office, then accompanied me to buy my local sim card! Everything gets done and thanks a lot for him!
Day 2 – 1st time working at the UN Human Rights Council (Thursday, June 16, 2016)
Last October 2015, a good friend dropped me at the UN Office in Geneva and took a picture of me in front of the building, because he knew that I love UN! And 8 months since that, June 16, 2016, I am here! At the UN! Not as a tourist, but I am part of it! Part of the UN Human Rights Council. Part of their history!!!!
I was so excited today because one of my dreams slowly (but sure) I could achieve!
Now I realised, if we believe in something which is positive for us, just believe it, be humble and dare to dream high!
Many thanks to Allah and Mama who always prays for me every time! ❤ you forever!
Day 3 – 1st time giving the Oral Statement on behalf of FORUM-ASIA (Friday, June 17, 2016)
Hahaha, so the funny story happened today! One of my colleagues said that I need to deliver the oral statement as NGO representative at the Council session. In very last minutes, I sent a message to my family group on Whatsapp that I will be delivered the statement at the UN, so I gave the UN Webcast link for them, just in case they wanna see me. And they did! So embarrassing.
Not too good, not so professional, but I was very happy that day, coz I got the chance and my family very proud of me!
So proud that I took this picture with the Indonesian diplomats and Indonesian Government at the Palais des Nations, Geneva.
Day 4 – Cleaning, cleaning and went to Iftar with the Indonesian Mission in Geneva (Saturday, June 18, 2016)
Indonesian fooooood!! That wasthe only oneI thinking about when they invited me to go to Iftar or breakfasting in Watappri in Malagnou, Geneva – Switzerland. Yeah even though I just arrived there for couple days, I already missed Indonesian food, especially my homemade food.
In here, I had a chance to meet with Indonesian people who live in Geneva. So happy to see how they live going well even they are not live in their hometown or country they were born. Oh that time, I still not fasting yet because of my period.
Day 5 – Welcome 26th, Me! (Sunday, June 19, 2016)
OMG! I never had any dreams to celebrate my birthday in another country, especially in Switzerland! But I did. For the first time in my life, I had my birthday far away from home, family, friends, and it makes me was so completely alone but happy at the same time!
I was so lucky that I have a good friend in Geneva. Well actually he lives in Gland, so we celebrated my birthday together at his place! He taught me how to make Swiss pie! Loved it… Thank you, Marcell! Oh, he also gave me a cute present voucher that I could change to money at the minimarket, which equals to CHF 10 or in IDR 140.000, hahaha.
Day 6 – Meet with David at the UN Human Rights Council (Monday, June 20, 2016)
I have a new friend at the Council. He is a Dutch who working in UN Watch. We actually in the same building but his on the 1st floor and mine the 2nd one. We share some thoughts and doing silly things in front of the UN webcam! Lol..
Day 7 – Attending to the meeting on the draft resolution of violence against women (Tuesday, June 21, 2016)
Item 3: Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, and the Special Rapporteur on the right to education
Oral Statement Delivered by Astrid Maharani
On behalf of the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA)
Friday, 17 June 2016
Oh, I was so proud to have this chance. To read the oral statement on behalf FORUM-ASIA at the 32nd Regular Session of the UN Human Rights Council. This chance that I had when I got the fellowship program with FORUM-ASIA based in Geneva, Switzerland.
I learned a lot during my fellowship program in FORUM-ASIA and would like to gain more knowledge about the UN Human Rights Mechanisms.