H.E. Mr. Susanto Sutoyo
Director General for Multilateral Economic, Financial and
Development Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia
at High Level Plenary Segment of the 43rd Session of the
Commission for Social Development
on Agenda Item 3 (A) Review of further implementation of the World Summit for Social Development and the Outcome of the Twenty-Fourth Special Session of the General Assembly.
New York, 11 February 2005
Let me begin by extending my delegation's congratulations to you on your election to the chairmanship of the 43rd Session of the Commission for Social Development and to the other members of the Bureau who have been elected. This session deserves our special attention since it is fully dedicated to a review of the post-decade period of the Copenhagen Declaration and Programme of Action. In this regard, we pledge our full support in assisting you in successfully fulfilling your formidable responsibilities.
I would also like to express our appreciation to Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs for his statement and to Mr. Johan Scholvinck for his informative introductory remarks to the Secretary-General's reports on the agenda items 3 (a). While fully associating itself with the statement of the distinguished representative of Jamaica on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, my delegation would like to emphasize a few points it considers important.
Though Indonesia welcomes the timely Report of the Secretary General, it is somewhat alarmed by some observations and recommendations found in the report. The social development agenda has been re-positioned in second place to the economic. While, for instance, there has been some reduction of extreme poverty and greater access to primary education, progress has been less than expected and often uneven between regions and across countries. Full employment and social integration have by and large been left aside if not ignored.
For its part, however, Indonesia has been attentive and sensitive to the need for a proper balance between macro-economic policies and social development goals. It is committed to human development. On that basis, it agrees with the recommendation of the report that the 5-year review of the implementation of the MDGs by the 60th session of the General Assembly should adopt a people-centered approach, with priority given to pro- poor development programme. This will help to reinforce the importance of the social development goals of the MDGs, especially those focusing on improved health, better education and full employment, all of which have been prioritized by Indonesia.
However, because of a number of challenges, among them the financial crisis of 1997 and the recent tsunami, fluctuations have occurred in Indonesia's efforts to implement the Copenhagen Declaration and Programme of Action. However, since the Special Session of Copenhagen + 5 in 2000, Indonesia has experienced marked recovery and managed to gradually achieve progress in social development.
In the area of poverty eradication, although Indonesia's poverty headcount index was still higher than the pre-crisis level up to 2003, it has been able to gradually reduce the number of its poor. Over the period, 2000-2004, a mix of 14 ministries and government agencies were able to implement 16 poverty reduction programmes designed to bring about family and women empowerment, agribusiness development and activate revolving fund schemes for the poor, among other things.
The pro-poor national policy is rights based to the extent that the poverty reduction strategy is open and highly participatory. Decisions taken by the Government are even subject to critical scrutiny by civil society organizations. To ensure that all groups benefit from the PRSP process, which has been adapted to respond to local needs through the Provincial and Local Poverty Reduction Strategy (SPKD), the PRSP has been integrated into the Mid-Term National Development Strategy.
Indonesia has structured its poverty reduction strategy to improve community welfare. In line with this approach, Law No. 40/2004 on National Social Security System was enacted last October. The law provides for progressive implementation of social security schemes in the areas of health, employment injury and pension funds. This constitutes not only better policy formulation and implementation as well as management of the work of our current agencies on social development, but also provides a legal framework that ensures all Indonesians are protected against unprecedented social risks and provided with the proper fulfillment of basic needs.
As with poverty, so with full employment: a similar gloomy picture can also be painted for promoting full employment in Indonesia. Slow economic growth since the 1997 crisis brought about a higher level of unemployment. In 2002, 9.13 million or 9.1 % of total labour force was unemployed.
In addressing this massive and complex problem, the Indonesian Government introduced multi-dimensional policies and adopted a variety of approaches, at all times being as flexible as possible. In order to improve agriculture as a primary employment sector, the Government introduced various measures in deregulating agricultural products and materials, seeking to eradicate trade barriers and provide affordable seeds and pesticides to farmers. Simultaneously, the Government simplified business procedures in order to attract more investments in manufacturing industries.
Turning to the area of social integration, much progress has been made as a result of the democratization process which began in 1998 and made people knowledgeable about and able to participate in the decision-making process. The inequity of women being kept out of the decision-making process ceased with the enactment of the landmark Law No. 12/2003. This law makes it mandatory for all political parties to ensure that at least 30 percent of their nominations for national, provincial and local parliamentary bodies are women. In addition, the Government has been taking steps to build social solidarity as the primary means of improving community life and attaining self-reliance in national development. Through such solidarity it is expected that there will be considerably less discrimination against women.
The Government has also been sensitive to the needs of other groups in society. To assist the aged, the 2003-2008 National Action Plan was enacted in 2003 and the following year, the National Commission on Ageing was established. Similarly, the on-going formulation of a National Action Plan on Disability reflects full commitment to the Biwako Millennium Framework Towards an Inclusive, Barrier-free and Rights-based Society for Persons with Disabilities in Asia and the Pacific. The National Action Plan 2004-2013 has been launched along with the establishment of eight working groups to address issues specific to disabled persons.
Work is being done to assist youth as well. As one of the first nations to volunteer to be a "lead" country to "prepare reviews and action plans" on youth employment, Indonesia, in cooperation with the UN-DESA, held a Regional Workshop on "Youth in Poverty in Southeast Asia", in August 2004 in Yogyakarta. At national level, Indonesia's Vice- President launched the Indonesia Youth Employment Network on 12 August 2004 in Jakarta.
These accomplishments have resulted from sound national policies and good governance influenced by the Copenhagen Declaration and Programme of Action. Indonesia therefore fully supports the Secretary-General's recommendation that implementation of the World Summit for Social Development and the outcome of the Twenty-fourth special session of the General Assembly should dominate and shape agendas of national governments in the future.
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