US Ambassador Open to Dialogue Following Jessica Stern's Scrapped Visit
TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The United States government will continue to open dialogue with Indonesia following the rejection expressed by the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) against the visit of The United States Special Envoy to Advance the Human Rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Intersex (LGBTQI+) Persons Jessica Stern.
"One of the reasons the United States and Indonesia have such a strong relationship is that we both uphold values such as democracy, human rights, diversity, and tolerance. Those values should apply to every member of society, including LGBTQI+ persons,” US Ambassador for Indonesia Sung Kim wrote in an email to Tempo on Friday, December 2, 2022.
Kim added that dialogue about human rights remains a crucial and fundamental aspect in every country.
“Advanced democracies oppose hatred, intolerance, and violence against any group of people, and encourage dialogue that reflects the broad diversity of their societies,” Kim wrote.
Stern initially planned to visit Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines in her human rights dialogue mission.
The Ambassador, however, said that the bilateral dialogue regarding the discrimination against LGBTQIA+ can be continued in the future, a dialogue, that Kim asserts is “fundamental to democracy.”
“After discussions with our counterparts in the Indonesian government, we have decided to cancel Special Envoy Stern’s visit to Indonesia,” Kim wrote in an email to Tempo on Friday, December 2, 2022.
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