H.E. Mr. Rachmat Witoelar
Minister of Environment of the Republic of Indonesia
Before the General Assembly Plenary on
Addressing Climate Change:
The United Nations and the World at Work
New York, 12 February 2008
At the outset, allow me to thank you for convening this important event to address one of the major challenges to humanity – climate change. I sincerely commend the initiative to keep this issue as a top priority in this year’s UN General Assembly agenda. In recognizing the central role of the United Nations in responding to this global challenge, the theme “Addressing Climate Change: the United Nations and the World at Work” is both timely and relevant.
I align my statement with the representative of Antigua and Barbuda speaking on behalf of the Group - 77 and China.
Just a few months ago, the Climate Change Conference in Bali agreed on the Bali Action Plan. The Plan was a strategic and important milestone. It marked a crucial turning point not only in the area of climate change, but also for humanity. The political commitment was unprecedented and we must continue on that path.
The exceptional feature about the Bali Action Plan is that it reflects a common understanding that no country is immune to climate change. Responding to it certainly requires the effort of developed and developing countries. Developed countries should take the lead, but the success of the Bali Action Plan also requires wider participation around the globe. More action can be expected to take place in the developing world with more ambitious commitments by developed countries.
But let us bear in mind that the window of opportunity is short with only 2008 and 2009 to detail the four building blocks - mitigation, adaptation, technology transfer, and financing, including within them, the adaptation fund and deforestation. This short time frame is what compels us all to work harder and together, to have concerted and concrete actions on what we all have committed in Bali. Based on our success in Bali, we are convinced that political partnership must be nurtured, and it should continue to guide and imbue the negotiation process in the two years ahead.
While political partnerships are essential, the next question is what kind of partnership will contribute to more effective implementation?
In my view, a genuine partnership involves all stakeholders who recognize their “common but differentiated responsibilities“. This implies that we must muster our sense of urgency to make the necessary choices to curb global warming. There is no other way to do this, but for us to begin thinking outside the box. All of us must dare to recalibrate our new perspective and introduce fresh approaches to our problem. It is important for all of us to do more and do things differently in our own entire life-sphere. All of us can and must contribute in completing our hard work in safeguarding our planet.
Indonesia firmly believes that our attempt to cope with the climate change problems requires the active involvement of all nations—developed and developing, large and small, the north and south—as well as the active engagement of the private sector, civil society and every human being of different generations and backgrounds. Partnership, within and across nations, is the key to our global environmental and climatic concerns.
For this reason Indonesia as the President of COP-13, will continue to play its role in ensuring these commitments by working together with all stakeholders. Together with next President of COP-14 and President of COP-15, we will ensure the beginning of a new chapter in the history of the climate change in 2009.
I am also pleased to inform you that as part of Indonesia’s commitment to participate with all nations to address climate change, we launched the National Action Plan for Climate Change. The National Action plan serves as an implementation guide for climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts by all stakeholders in Indonesia.
The Indonesian Center for Climate Change is being established as a focal point to implement the national action plan for climate change and facilitate and monitor technical assistance and cooperation with the international community in the area of mitigation, adaptation, Reduced Emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD) and technology transfer.
Let me also emphasize that Indonesia welcomes and recognizes all initiatives and discussions within various international processes. They all serve to provide valuable input to the process under the UNFCCC, including the recent outcomes of the Major Economic Meeting held in Honolulu, Hawaii which strengthened the success of the Bali Roadmap and promoted energy efficiency. It is essential, however, that existing and new commitments post-2012 are deliberated within the UNFCCC as the key instrument and the proper forum to address climate change.
It is pertinent to underline that the UN carries a legitimate role in bridging development and climate change concerns with all stakeholders. The United Nations should therefore be well equipped to address the challenge of development and climate change in a more coherent and focused manner.
The UN’s effort to bolster cooperation within the Secretariat as well as with the broader UN system is a step in the right direction. To this end, the UN may consider on the need to integrate all existing and relevant frameworks in order to create an effective umbrella and mechanism to respond to climate change in the future. All UN activities related to climate change; scientific, economic, political, social and humanitarian affairs as well as development, should be delivered in a coherent package.
Responding to climate change will require humanity’s total capacity. Let us build togetherness and global ownership at all levels and all sectors to battle a common enemy.
The panel discussions conducted yesterday clearly indicated—and as a matter of fact, reaffirmed—our conviction on the growing strategic importance of building partnerships. We have attained ample political commitments from governments, private sector and NGOs around the world; and hence we at the United Nations must cultivate the political momentum and global call, and translate them into policy, action plans, and consistent implementation. After all, that is the main message of our theme today: The UN and the World at Work.
Permanent Mission of the Republic of Indonesia to the United Nations, New York
325 East 38th Street, New York, NY, 10016, USA
Tel: 1.212.972.8333, Fax: 1.212.972.9780 - www.indonesiamission-ny.org