Indonesian Human Rights: Questions Secretary Kerry Should Pose
With President Obama canceling his Indonesia trip due to the government shutdown, it now falls to Secretary of State John Kerry to lead the American delegation’s visit to this important ally. President Obama declared before the United Nations last week that, “The United States will at times work with governments that do not meet, at least in our view, the highest international expectations, but who work with us on our core interests. Nevertheless, we will not stop asserting principles that are consistent with our ideals, whether that means opposing the use of violence as a means of suppressing dissent, or supporting the principles embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”
When Secretary Kerry attends the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Bali, he will carry with him the responsibility of putting these words into action. Kerry’s trip to Indonesia offers the chance to reaffirm the commitment made in Obama’s U.N. address: that the United States will not sideline tough human rights issues with our allies, and economic interests will not trump American values.