H.E. STATE MINISTER FOR WOMEN EMPOWERMENT
REPUBLIC OF INDONESIA
PROF. DR. MEUTIA HATTA SWASONO
AT THE FIFTY-SECOND SESSION
OF THE COMMISSION ON THE STATUS OF WOMEN
NEW YORK, 27 FEBRUARY 2008
It is indeed a distinct pleasure for me to extend you my sincere congratulations on your election as the Chairman of the fifty-second session of the Commission on the Status of Women. I am confident that your capable leadership will contribute to fruitful outcomes of this session. I would like to also commend the members of the Bureau, for the excellent work in preparation for and during this session. The delegation of Indonesia’s assures its full support and cooperation in the discharge of your duties.
In discussing the priority theme of the 52nd session of the Commission on the Status of Women, Indonesia wishes to associate itself with the statement by Antigua and Barbuda on behalf of the Group of 77 and China. We would also like to thank the Secretary-General for his two reports on the theme. They give us a clear sense of what has been done and what remains to be done.
Indonesia regards this meeting as an important and timely step forward in the process of achieving gender equality and the empowerment of women. It is taking place at a time when careful consideration is being given to implementation of the Monterrey Consensus and improving aid effectiveness. That background heightens the meeting’s relevance and strengthens the links between financing for development and women’s progress.
However, I must point out that despite the recognition for women’s contribution in achieving the Millennium Development Goals, there is still a glaring gap between promises made and promises kept. In all instances, action falls well short of what is required to effect the necessary changes. It is obvious that good intentions are not enough.
The time for action has therefore arrived. Indonesia agrees that increased attention must be given to addressing the gender perspectives in all six action areas of the Monterrey Consensus. This concern should impact the outcome of the review process in Doha later this year. In addition, donor states should be encouraged to provide multilateral agencies with additional funding for projects and programs directed towards gender equality and women’s empowerment. The WTO’s review process of national trade policies should seek to identify and address the different gender impacts of such policies. And there should be a gender perspective to debt forgiveness.
Indonesia agrees that national budgets and policy making should be gender responsive, reflecting the differentiated needs of women and men. Resource allocations should match policy commitments. These expenditures should be monitored and their impact evaluated by appropriate tracking mechanisms under the supervision of women’s machineries.
From that perspective, the new planning and budgeting system in Indonesia, instituted by law in 2003, provides a platform for ensuring gender equality in central as well as regional policy making and program implementation. The new system requires that central and regional governments prepare a performance-based budget in which programs, activities and budgeted expenditure are aligned with specified gender performance indicators.
In conjunction with the new budgeting system, all provincial and district governments are required to allocate five percent of their government budget for financing women empowerment and gender equality programs and activities.
A new fiscal management approach was also instituted involving two year budgeting and planning mechanisms compared to the previous single year approach. It involves more specific and detailed methods to reporting, accountability, performance articulation, as well as monitoring and long term evaluation.
Furthermore, a self-explanatory manual to support the development of a gender responsive budget in government agencies at the central and regional level is in the process of being completed. The manual will explain various methods for planning, monitoring and assessing gender equality and women empowerment programs, activities and budgeting.
On gender mainstreaming, a draft Presidential Regulation on the National Plan of Action on Gender Mainstreaming is in the process of being completed. An element of the regulation involves assuring gender equality under Indonesia’s new financial management system.
We are optimistic that these measures will contribute to better gender responsive budgeting at the central and regional governments supported by participation of civil society.
I wish to reiterate our government’s commitment to the implementation of the Beijing declaration and the Platform for Action as well as the Outcome of the Twenty Third Special Session of the General Assembly. Indonesia, for its part, stands ready and fully committed to moving forward the international gender agenda. However, national efforts alone could not achieve what could be done in close cooperation with international partners. In conclusion, we must consider what practical steps can be taken right now with all partners to initiate the changes that will eventually benefit all of humanity.
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