The Habibie Center Marks its 17th Anniversary with Discussions on Regional Issues

Jakarta, 7 November 2016—The Habibie Center celebrated its 17th anniversary on 7 November 2016. The Habibie Center was established in 1999 as an initiative to promote democratic life and human rights in Indonesia. For the celebration, The Habibie Center held a series of events and discussions.

The event begun with a discussion on “ASEAN and Refugee  Crisis: Practices, Policy, and Solution,” which featured a panel consisting of Dr. Makarim Wibisono (Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Indonesian Mission to the United Nation, 2004-2007), Mr. Rafendi Djamin (Director of Amnesty International’s Southeast Asia and Pacific Regional Office and Governing Board Member of the HRRC), Heru Susetyo, Ph.D. (Head of Center of Islam and Islamic Law Studies), Mohammad Hasan Ansori, Ph.D. (Head Researcher, The Humanitarian Refugee Program, The Habibie Center) and Wirya Adiwena (Researcher, The Humanitarian Refugee Program, The Habibie Center). Johari Effendi (Researcher, The Humanitarian Refugee Program, The Habibie Center) moderated the discussion.

In the discussion, a research team from The Habibie Center composed of Mr. Ansori and Mr. Adiwena presented its latest study on regional refugee crisis in ASEAN, with the focus on three member states: Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand. The team highlighted serious lack of regional framework to address refugee issues, with most of ASEAN countries—including the focuses of the study—approaching the issue under the perspectives of rights of a child and human trafficking, instead of under the perspective of rights of refugees and the stateless community. Mr. Susetyo, Mr. Djamin, and Dr, Wibisono, while commenting on the study, enlightened the room with possible opportunities for all relevant actors, including ASEAN bodies, to establish a regional framework that specifically addresses the issue of refugees. They emphasized the strong and vibrant movement of CSOs in ASEAN, which can be a great modality for improving the refugee crisis in the region.

Parallel to the opening discussion, The Habibie Center also organized a seminar on “Getting to know the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) Progress and Challenges,” and another discussion to close the celebration on “Reviving the Broad Outlines of State Policy. Is It Necessary?” These two events brought together professionals, political elites, government representatives, and academicians while aiming to seek inputs on the implications of the themes above towards Indonesia and ASEAN region as a whole.

HRRC wishes the best for The Habibie Center in continuing their progressive works and achievements.