H.E. Ambassador Adiyatwidi Adiwoso A.
Deputy Permanent Representative
Republic of Indonesia
Informal Thematic Consultations on Cluster I: “Freedom From Want” from the Secretary-General’s Report entitled “ In Larger Freedom: towards development, security and human rights for all”
New York, 25 April 2005
Indonesia welcomes the convening of this informal thematic consultation, giving member states an opportunity to share and openly discuss their detailed views and proposals for Cluster I “Freedom from Want”. Indonesia also wishes to align its statement with the Group of 77 and China represented by the distinguished delegate of Jamaica.
In view of the High-level Plenary Meeting of the sixtieth General Assembly in September 2005, Indonesia wishes that this process would eventually take the form of a clear and action-oriented outcome to be considered at the September Summit. At the same time, however, Indonesia would like to emphasize that we should not haste into any decisions especially with regard to issues that require careful consideration. We understand the well-intended call by the Secretary-General urging member states to take the September Summit as a time for momentous decisions in response to the new and changed circumstances we face. Nevertheless, we believe that consensus should prevail and be reached through inclusive and open deliberations.
It is Indonesia’s view that the September Summit should first of all emphasize the importance of maintaining development as a main focus of the United Nations and not treat it as a concession towards greater security but more as a right of all nations to fulfill in the spirit of the UN Charter. Furthermore, the September Summit should also emphasize that one of the cornerstones for larger freedom in development, security and human rights for all is the Millennium Development Goals. With our collective wisdom and prudence, Indonesia believes the MDGs are within our reach but can only become a reality if we make it our priority for the next ten years. Towards this end, to incite our collective political will, Indonesia supports quick wins actions for all developing countries given that this action can be done immediately, is not costly and has meaningful impacts for the poor.
It is also equally important to acknowledge that development is a complex and long-term process entailing comprehensive step-by-step approaches that requires continued coordination, cooperation, and support of the United Nations and other organizations beyond 2015. Along these premises, it is important to recognize that not every country has the same set of conditions, which consequently determines the starting points of each country. For that reason, all developing countries are entitled to gain access to the appropriate means, so that all have equal opportunity to climb the ladder of development. In this connection, it is of crucial importance that we establish a conducive environment for the attainment of internationally agreed development goals, which requires the cooperation of partners in developing and developed countries.
In relation to the establishment of a conducive environment, allow me to start from the standpoint of our individual responsibility. As a matter of principle, Indonesia would like to reiterate that developing countries’ governments and its peoples are the main determinants in developing their own path towards freedom from want. While we support good governance, combating corruption, driving private sector growth, as they are all very important elements of development, by no means should they be used as conditionalities for increased development assistance. In fact, it is crucial to identify development strategies and national policies that would integrate developing countries into the world economy on terms that are coherent with their development priorities.
From a standpoint for international cooperation, Indonesia is of the view that synergies need to be promoted and fragmented approaches avoided. In this regard, it is important to fully utilize the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation (JPoI) and the Monterrey Consensus as complementary tools for achieving the MDGs. Both are inclusive and comprehensive action-oriented frameworks in response to the most pressing issues in developing countries. Simultaneously, South-South cooperation should be merged in this broad international framework, therefore creating the basis for a coherent system of development.
South-South cooperation has recently been strengthened through the launching of the New Asian-African Strategic Partnership during the Asia-African Summit and the Golden Jubilee Commemoration of the Asian-Africa Conference of 1955 held two days ago in Indonesia. Many Heads of States of Asian and African countries and the Secretary-General of the United Nations attended the Summit and endorsed the NAASP, which is based on three pillars of economic, political and social affairs. The summit will be held every four years with biennial meetings at the ministerial levels. The next summit will be held in South Africa in 2009. Additionally, the NAASP will also complement NEPAD.
With regard to sustainable development, Indonesia fully supports the implementation of the JPoI through established and innovative forms of financing to effectively implement the agreed targets and goals of the JPoI.
In relation to the multilateral trading system, Indonesia finds it crucial to identify development strategies and national policies that enhance capacity to benefit from trade liberalization and increased market access. Likewise, the Doha Round should centralize development as the guiding light for the eradication of poverty worldwide.
On ODA, Indonesia is of the view that all developing countries still have a need of ODA, although some have a greater requirement of it than others. Timetables would be useful incentives to implement the 0.7% commitment that has been made since the 1970’s as they ensure predictability. Furthermore, increased aid should not be provided on the basis of conditionalities, as this was not part of the Monterrey Consensus. Aid should be more than increased income, it should also aim at transferring knowledge to help developing countries build better institutions and spur more creative ideas. A true expression of partnership for development effectiveness is donor coordination. Without proper coordination, the proliferation of different organizations providing aid can contribute greatly to inefficiency. Donors committed to effective aid should make their procedures more consistent with those of other donors and recipient countries.
In terms of the innovative forms of financing, perhaps it is timely to start taking into consideration some forward-thinking ideas such as a UN fund for development through disarmament. A fund could be generated by reduction of defense budgets and channeled to this facility, for which ECOSOC would provide oversight. On the issue of innovative financing mechanisms, what is important is immediate implementation and it should be noted that the innovative financing for development should by no means replace ODA.
On external debt, to ensure that developing countries debt problem is resolved, we must be assisted in building capacity for sound debt management including technical and financial assistance to develop institutional capacity. Moreover, given the long-term nature of development, debt relief and debt sustainability should be conceived and determined within a broad development scope with a time horizon that will ensure that developing countries will be able to achieve the MDGs and other development commitments.
I bring our focus to an issue that is relevant to development and needs further promotion and that is women empowerment. The fact that more than 800 million women are economically active worldwide inter alia in agriculture, small and micro-enterprise, and increasingly, in the export processing industries that drive globalization, leads us to the valid conviction that empowered women indeed play a most effective drive to development. Their contributions to the economic, social and political lives of their nations, communities, families and the next generation make them key actors in effective development. Over 70 percent of these women live in the developing regions of Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Therefore, it is our noble responsibility to further advance gender equality in all aspects of development, which in turn will further enhance their contribution to the overall national development process.
I now turn our attention to an issue that has a significant bearing on development and that is natural disasters. We cannot deny that we are all vulnerable to natural disasters but facts show that a large number of high-risk countries are developing countries. In this connection, there is a consensus that a global warning system should be put in place to alert countries to impending natural disasters so that early action can be taken to avert major human catastrophes. With the memory of last December’s earthquake and tsunami still fresh in our minds, followed recently by a far less devastating earthquake just recently, it is clear that there must be a tsunami warning system in the Indian Ocean and Southeast Asian region and indeed other vulnerable regions at risk. The General Assembly through resolution A/59/279 of 28 January 2005 emphasized the urgent need to establish an early warning system, particularly for tsunamis in the Indian Ocean and Southeast Asian regions. The clear need for this system must result in urgent action to realize this goal as soon as possible. More importantly is the need to enhance national and regional capacity building.
My last point relates to the role of the United Nations. Indonesia would like to emphasize the importance of the UN in ensuring that development and security are addressed in a balanced manner. As stated by the Secretary-General, “Development and security are inextricably linked. A more secure world is only possible if poor countries are given a real chance to develop”. In this regard, the United Nations central role in economic and social fields fulfilled largely through ECOSOC must be strengthened. In parallel, the General Assembly as the most representative policy-making organ of the UN must be equipped with the necessary authority so that it remains the centerpiece of the UN.
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