Mr. Willem Rampangilei
Deputy Coordinating Minister
for Social Welfare
of the Republic of Indonesia
agenda item 3 (a), (b) and (c)
“Follow up to the World Summit for Social Development and the twenty-fourth special Session of the General Assembly”
New York, 10 February 2011
Let me begin by extending my appreciation to all the distinguished speakers for their informative briefings before the Commission yesterday.
In our national capacity, Indonesia would like to align itself with the statement on behalf of ASEAN as well as the statement of the Group of 77 and China delivered by the distinguished representative of Argentina.
For the last 15 years, the outcomes of the World Summit on Social Development have been a beacon for international action to combat the various manifestations of poverty.
Through focused and concerted efforts, we have witnessed several achievements as a result of implementing the commitments adopted by the Summit.
Yet, even with those achievements, and the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals by 2015, our work on poverty eradication is only half complete.
We must therefore use this opportunity to consider steps that can protect development gains, and continue to seek solutions on the persistent inequalities that exacerbate poverty.
This is most crucial, especially in this uncertain economic environment. This session should identify options to address both rural and urban poverty.
As two sides of the same coin, urban and rural poverty should be addressed in an integrated and comprehensive manner taking into account their linkages and mutually reinforcing. Employment, being an important avenue to eradicate poverty, should also be discussed in detail.
With a view to address the urban - rural employment conundrum, support towards developing agricultural sector productivity should be further explored. We underline the importance of enhancing support to strengthen agricultural infrastructure in developing countries.
It is also critically important for developing countries to gain access to international markets, which would contribute to rising export earnings, and make trade exchange work to reduce poverty.
The current uncertain conditions that we are confronted with compel us to consider how we can protect the most vulnerable groups from the shocks, and avoid slipping into further poverty. It is therefore pertinent to addressing the challenges of poverty eradication, while we should also deliberate on efforts to promote social protection.
It is also important to consider all angles of social protection, from familial and other informal social protection mechanisms to formal social protection systems. A key component of social protection is social assistance, aimed at alleviating poverty and preventing social exclusion.
Yet, the challenge is meeting a growing demand for such assistance with targeted and cost effective interventions. It is also beneficial for this session to explore what could be done at the international level to enable countries to mobilize the financial resources needed to implement or expand social protection programs sustainably.
For Indonesia, the increasing commitment to address socio-economic development and institutional challenges to address poverty eradication is shown in our National Medium-Term Development Strategy (RPJM) for 2010-2014.
We are cognizant that despite good progress in reducing poverty, including achieving the MDGs, there are still around 31 million poor in Indonesia. This is not withstanding the rising inequalities. For this reason, the Government is focusing on a development program that is centered on being pro-poor, pro-job, pro-growth, and pro-environment.
One of the pathways Indonesia has developed to reduce poverty and create jobs is through micro-finance. Under the current development strategy, small holder credit coverage is being expanded to enable further growth for small and medium enterprises, and cooperatives, which are the backbone of Indonesia’s economy.
The Government of Indonesia has also taken into account the need for social protection. Traditionally, the main approach for social protection has been through family. Being the basic unit of society, the Government has developed a program for family self-sufficiency with some cash assistance, and the basic school program. The latter program exempts students in public schools from paying tuition fees from elementary up to junior high school.
Other social protection schemes are the National Program for Community Empowerment (PNPMMandiri), School Health Programme (UKS), Rice for the Poor Programme (RASKIN) and the Social Safety Net on Health (Jamkesmas/Jamkesda).
Our commitment is to ensure that social protection schemes can continue to be provided for all social groups, including youth, the elderly and the disabled. However, there is a need to strengthen technical and administrative capacity, necessary to translate available resources into effective programs.
We do believe that this Session would be able to produce practical and action-oriented recommendations. We hope that our work can initiate the appropriate policy responses necessary for further action on poverty eradication, as well as the emerging issue of social protection.
Permanent Mission of the Republic of Indonesia to the United Nations, New York
325 East 38th Street, New York, NY, 10016, USA
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