H.E. R.M. Marty M. Natalegawa
Permanent Representative of the Republic of Indonesia
to the United Nations
On Behalf of ASEAN
At the Second Committee on Agenda Item 57
‘Operational Activities for Development’
New York, 15 October 2008
I have the honor of delivering this statement on behalf of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN).
First of all, ASEAN associates itself with the statement made by the distinguished representative of Antigua and Barbuda on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
We also wish to thank the Secretary-General for his insightful reports and the recommendations therein. The reports presented before us are in line with the 2007 Triennial Comprehensive Policy Review (TCPR) resolution that emphasizes the need for its comprehensive, effective and full implementation.
The beginning of the UN operational activities over the next three years in accordance with the 2007 TCPR, is of particular significance considering the current complex global context, which challenges the efforts that have been undertaken by Member States together with the United Nations.
Given the recent uncertainties of the world economy and tight government budgets, the UN system needs to work even harder to overcome challenges such as declining ODA flows and cutbacks in funding for operational activities. The development needs of the developing countries, particularly the African countries, LDCs, LLDCs and SIDS, must be met. In this regard, we call upon donor countries to meet their ODA targets of 0.7% of their Gross National Income.
Likewise, strengthening collaboration and cooperation in the UN system as well as with donors, the private sector, civil society is important. We further reiterate the call to donors for honoring their commitment of increasing funding to the UN operational activities, notably through the provision of core resources as well as increasing the overall-level of development aid to assist countries reach the international agreed development goals, including the MDGs. All of these measures should take into account the national strategies and priorities of the developing countries.
There is an urgent need to improve UN mechanisms and funding modalities, to promote the upward trend in real contribution. At the country level, the UN system has to improve aid effectiveness through better quality and delivery, a more effective use of resources, simplified and harmonized operational processes, reduced transaction costs and enhanced national ownership.
Furthermore, the United Nations system must have the tools to help support preserve and promote advances towards the MDGs in Member States. Given that implementation to reach the internationally agreed development goals including the MDGs risk backtracking, there is a need to measure progress in concrete, tangible and measurable ways. To enable this, the UN needs to continue promoting reform by advancing leadership, providing clear guidance, and enhancing greater coherence, effectiveness and efficiency in the operational activities of the entire UN system.
The ASEAN countries welcome the initiatives and reform programs undertaken by the UN system under the leadership of the Secretary-General in an effort to respond to the requirements of global development. We support the reform and renewal of UN system with a view to strengthening the role of the United Nations, improving mandates of operational activities for development and making development assistance more effective at all levels, especially at the country level.
The ASEAN countries welcome the UN system-wide coherence approach with “Delivering as One” pilot programs taken by eight countries on the voluntary basis. We take notice of general findings and recommendations made by the eight pilot countries last June in Mozambique. We encourage and support Viet Nam, a member of ASEAN, in carrying out the “One UN” pilot program. We expect the outcome of these pilots will be an essential element for the intergovernmental consultations on the operational effectiveness of the UN.
ASEAN has also taken note of the assessment of progress of UNIFEM programs and activities at the country level. We look forward to active discussions of the Secretary-General’s recommendations for strengthening the effectiveness of UNIFEM.
Members of the ASEAN in the spirit of unity and collaboration are committed to strengthen the cooperation with the UN system in order to promote effective operational activities for development in striving to achieve international agreed development goals, including the MDGs. The signing of Memorandum of Understanding between ASEAN and the United Nations in September 2007 demonstrates the commitment of both organizations to realize their common pursuit for peace and development.
I thank you.
Permanent Mission of the Republic of Indonesia to the United Nations, New York
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