At the outset, my delegation would like to congratulate you in assuming the chairmanship of the Third committee and to also thank the previous chair for the successful deliberations in the 63rd session. Be assured of my delegation’s full cooperation to ensure a successful outcome for this session.
I wish to thank the Secretary-General for the set of reports that highlight the developments and challenges in the related areas of social development.
I align my statement with the representative of Sudan speaking on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
We are living in a changing world marked by rapid progress in science; technology; education and health. Yet these advancements have also increased social tensions and inequalities worldwide. And the onset of the multiple crises, have intensified the adverse social impacts to the poorest and most vulnerable among us.
According to the reports on social development, the financial and economic crisis alone will push 100 million more people into poverty and reverse the gains made to attain the Millennium Development Goals.
Nevertheless, we should be encouraged that we begin deliberations on social development at a time of renewed confidence in multilateralism. The new spirit has given the United Nations a more positive phase in international cooperation.
This has given rise to revived hopes and new opportunities. We should capture this rare chance to create the necessary momentum that will bring more positive development dividends for all.
This session of the third committee should use the opportunity to craft a comprehensive and inclusive response to the confluence of multiple crises that has diminished growth prospects and stunted social development.
We should continue to develop approaches and strategies which advance our collective responsibility to put people at the centre of development.
It is not sufficient to view poverty eradication through income generation alone. We need to continue promoting growth with equity and uphold human dignity and social justice. The transformation in the global economy must address the persistent inequalities and the needs of disadvantaged groups.
Against this backdrop Mr. Chairman, it is fitting to promote the objectives of social integration which was a priority theme of the 24th special session of the General Assembly and World Summit on Social Development.
It is important to promote development that includes all social groups and individuals into the political, social, cultural and economic structures of a society so that they can fully participate and contribute to its development.
This is precisely the aspirations of the new Indonesia. We are promoting socially integrative policies through a renewed spirit of reforms and democratic process.
Being the fourth most populous nation in the world we have also become the world’s third largest democracy. Indonesia’s brand of democracy is founded on the indigenous principle of mutual assistance which has long governed Indonesia’s society. The principle is based on the premise that every member of society has a responsibility for each other’s welfare and progress. It aims to promote harmonious social relationships and contribute to high quality human resources.
The family unit is considered the starting point for nurturing the principle and has therefore been a priority area of Indonesia’s Long Term Development Programme. Indonesia is promoting policies that support the realization of the Prosperous Family and Ideal Family.
This includes ensuring productive employment and decent work. A number of social protection measures related to employment have been adopted including provisions for basic pensions, work insurance, health and child benefits.
As for family welfare improvement, the government has implemented several programs aimed to empower poor families through income generating economic activities. Some of the programs provide small credits for families that wish to start an entrepreneurial endeavor.
In this regard, cooperatives are an important part of the Indonesian economy, particularly in the promotion of entrepreneurship, including small and medium enterprises. Indeed, cooperatives have formed the backbone of the Indonesian economy since our independence. Indonesia has over 150,000 cooperatives creating jobs and generating incomes in all of our 33 provinces. Cooperatives have also proved to be resilient in time of crisis. Therefore we welcome the proposal to promote cooperatives and raise the awareness of their socio-economic contribution.
Indonesia is also strengthening its legal framework on youth to create a conducive environment that will allow youth to reach their potential that includes a new national law on youth.
We are ensuring that women and girls continue to receive the highest attention in our national development. In terms of the MDGs, we are close to reaching our national objective of universal education for both boys and girls. Gender focal points and working groups of line ministries and development agencies have been strengthened to mainstream gender and to meet the challenges posed by the current economic and financial crises.
Indonesia recognizes the importance of mainstreaming the rights and needs of people with disabilities into the national development agenda. With the launching of National Plan of Action for Persons with Disabilities in 2004, Indonesia remains committed to improve their participation in development.
As for the elderly, in response to the aging population, Indonesia has adopted, among others, a National Action Plan on Ageing which focuses on establishing and ensuring necessary support to elderly. The government is also promoting a program that aims to train families with an elderly member to maximize their potential capabilities.
I would like to conclude by emphasizing the following:
First, in the current downturn, the macro-economy must be able to stabilize the real economy. We should strive for both short-run stability and long-term development.
Second, social protection is central to inclusive growth that leads to poverty reduction. Full and productive employment and decent work for all should be implemented under conditions of equality, security and dignity.
Third, the development of human resources is a key component of a comprehensive development strategy. The strategy should emphasize education as a means to break the intergenerational cycle of poverty.
Fourth, consistent with the aim of social integration, there should be greater international support for democracy. It is vital to share and learn from each other’s democratic process. In Indonesia last December, we organized the Bali Democracy Forum, a first Asian inter-governmental forum on democracy and we stand ready to continue the Forum as a learning exchange for the international community.
I thank you.