Pontianak, West Kalimantan (ANTARA) - The city of Singkawang, West Kalimantan, is ready to host the 2023 National Human Rights Festival (Festival HAM) on October 16-19.

The Collaboration Agreement on the Commencement of the 2023 National Human Rights Festival was signed by the Singkawang City Government along with the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM), the Presidential Staff Office (KSP), and the International NGO Forum on Indonesian Development (INFID) in Singkawang, West Kalimantan, on Friday.

"The 2023 Festival HAM, to be held in Singkawang in October, will uphold the theme of 'Uniting to Maintain Indonesians’ Dignity of Justice, Tolerance, and Inclusivity,'" Deputy V of KSP Jaleswari Pramodhawardani stated in Singkawang on Friday.

"This theme is appointed by the organizing team and the host because it is relevant to today’s condition, and it can represent a collective value present in Singkawang," she remarked.

She explained that Singkawang was chosen as the host for the 2023 Festival HAM, as it has acquired the title of being the most tolerant city.

"Hopefully, with the commencement of the 2023 Festival HAM in Singkawang, guests, who are involved and present, can gain a valuable experience and feel the ingrained tolerance in Singkawang’s diverse life," Pramodhawardani remarked.

Furthermore, she said, the choice of making Singkawang the host for the 2023 Festival HAM is a result of discussions between KSP, INFID, and Komnas HAM. Singkawang is considered to possess values, work programs, and regional regulations that intersect with human rights.

"However, cultural diversity in Singkawang is not limited to regulations and programs. It is also sustained by the community members' participation in voicing their aspirations. Flourishing spaces for youths to express their opinions and self-actualize also enrich inter-generational tolerance in Singkawang," she stated.

Festival HAM is a national event held regularly every year. Pramodhawardani is optimistic that Festival HAM in Singkawang would become an instrument to broaden the scope of human rights-based regions and cities in Indonesia.

"We hope that every party can prepare the event to the best of their abilities because this is where practice and good experience can influence and spread to other cities and regencies in Indonesia. It is also an event for Indonesia to showcase itself to the world," Pramodhawardani stated.

Meanwhile, Komnas HAM member Putu Elvina stated that Festival HAM can encourage Singkawang to become a Human Rights City by maintaining the continuity of its regulations and sensitive programs to fulfill the needs of its people.

Elvina explained that the definition of a human rights city or regency is how its residents and socio-political climate play a role as fundamental values and principles.

Human Rights Cities are considered human rights governance in a local context, wherein the regional government, the Regional Legislative Council (DPRD), the civil community, private sector organizations, and other stakeholders cooperate to improve the quality of life of all people in a partnership that is based on human rights standards and norms.

"The practical order of a human rights city is that all people can fully participate in the decision-making process regardless of their race, ethnic group, gender, skin color, nationality, or social status for minorities, vulnerable groups, and other marginalized groups," she remarked.

To welcome the 2023 Festival HAM, all stakeholders are expected to synergize, collaborate, and ensure concrete efforts to develop human rights concepts in Singkawang.

"We entrust this to Mr Regional Secretary (of Singkawang), who is present here, to monitor the program and budget to ensure that every process is based on human rights," Elvina stated.

"We are enthusiastic to become a strategic partner for future programs. We hope that in the next few years, Singkawang will become a city that is not only the most tolerant but also Indonesia’s Human Rights City," she affirmed.

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Translator: Rendra O, Azis Kurmala
Editor: Sri Haryati
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