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Statement by

H.E. Mr. Hasan Kleib,

Deputy Permanent Representative of the Republic of Indonesia to the United  Nations,

  On Behalf of ASEAN

At the Second Committee

On Agenda Item 52: Follow-up to and Implementation of the Outcome of the International Conference on

Financing for Development

 

New York, 15 October 2009

 

Mr. Chairman,

 

            I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). We associate ourselves with the statement made by Sudan on behalf of the G77 and China.  We would also like to thank the Secretary General for his reports.

 

Mr. Chairman,

 

                   ASEAN attaches great importance to the follow-up of the international development agenda embodied in the Monterrey Consensus as well as the High Level Conference on the World Financial and Economic Crisis and its Impact on Development.

 

                The international community has adopted an ambitious agenda in terms of the follow-up to the Monterrey conference. The outcome of the High Level Conference also bears testimony to the importance that we collectively attach to this issue.  Its importance has been further underlined by the present financial crisis.

 

              There is some progress made.  We have taken the necessary initial steps by adopting ECOSOC resolution 2009/30, changing the modalities aimed at strengthening the multi-stakeholder intergovernmental process to implement the follow-up on financing for development (FfD).  Among others, it envisages that more time will be devoted to the issue.   It also envisages that discussions will be held in a more coherent and integrated manner, both in terms of the topics as well as the organs of the UN in which these discussions take place.

 

        By changing these modalities, the role played by the UN and its value-add to these issues can hopefully be enhanced.

 

                  At the same time, a solid follow-up framework would largely be established.  We now need to focus on the implementation phase in all the six thematic chapter headings of the Monterrey Consensus document.

 

         In terms of the progress registered and challenges faced in these six areas, we note the general points made by the report of the Secretary General on `Follow-up to and implementation of the Monterrey Consensus and Doha Declaration on Financing for Development’. ASEAN would like to emphasize on the following:

 

·         While it is critical for all countries to hasten economic recovery, the developing world must distil longer term lessons, especially in the development of the financial sector and development strategies;

 

·         Policy makers all over the world need to address how best to reduce instabilities in many categories of private sector flows;

 

·         We must resist protectionist impulses and conclude a development-focused Doha round as soon as possible;

 

·         Despite the more trying times, the developed world must build on the 10.2 percent increase in ODA in 2008.  However, this increase, which brought total aid provision to 0.33 percent of GNI, falls short of the agreed 0.7 percent target.  We therefore call on developed countries to honor their commitments to providing ODA at 0.7% of GNI including aid for trade and other forms of technical assistance and cooperation to developing countries, especially the Least Developed Countries.

 

·         While notable progress has been made to debt relief, they are confined to a select group of countries.  Further, the present crisis threatens to increase the levels of debt in many developing countries as they seek to address it; and

 

·         We must continue to strengthened efforts at addressing flaws in the financial system and in giving the developing world a greater voice in the global economic decision making process.

 

                  In short, while progress has been made in some areas, major challenges, amplified by the present crisis still remain.  It is therefore clear that the international community needs to strengthen our efforts in achieving the goals and measures contained in the Monterrey Consensus.

 

                         To ensure this, we need to go beyond stale political discussions aimed at scoring points. 

 

             Related to this, ASEAN notes that while we face challenging environment, the mood for cooperation has improved.  Building on the prevailing mood, ASEAN believes that discussions at the UN must be based on facts and evidence, rather than on rhetoric. 

 

Mr. Chairman,

 

                          The subject of financing for development continues to be a matter of great importance for ASEAN. We are of the view that achieving a sound and strong global financial and economic system is conducive to financing for development. It is therefore important that our work towards this must include:

 

  • First, expediting reform of the global financial and economic architecture.

 

  • Second, renewing global partnership to create an enabling international environment that can facilitate continued mobilization of domestic and international resources, enhance international financial and technical cooperation, as well as address external debt and known systemic difficulties.

 

  • Third, ensuring each country continues to implement the necessary macroeconomic, fiscal, and development policies that will inspire the confidence of the business sector and engender support for the continued growth of the real economy.

 

                 Indeed, the present crisis and its impact on financing for development is also a subject that is addressed in a substantive manner by the highest levels in ASEAN.  For example, when ASEAN leaders met in Cha-am Hua Hin, Thailand on 1 March 2009:

 

·         They welcomed expansionary macroeconomic policies, including fiscal stimulus, monetary easing, access to credit including trade financing,  and measures to support private sector, particularly small and medium enterprises (SMEs) undertaken by each ASEAN Member State to stimulate domestic demand.

 

·         The ASEAN leaders reaffirmed their determination to ensure the free flow of goods, services and investment, and facilitate movement of business persons, professionals, talents and labour, and freer flow of capital

 

·         They also acknowledged that the scope for regional cooperation must be expanded to mobilise savings for investments in productive areas, particularly infrastructure development to spur regional growth.

 

·         At the same time, recognition was given to efforts to promote financial sector cooperation in various ASEAN-led fora including ASEAN+1, ASEAN+3 and East Asia Summit.

 

·         The leaders had also urged that more coordinated action by both developed and developing countries be taken to restore financial stability and ensure the continued functioning of financial markets to provide support to growth.

 

·         They called for a bold and urgent reform of the international financial system to achieve a more comprehensive, equitable and inclusive system that takes into consideration the interests and voices of the emerging and developing economies.

 

                        In this context, a coordinating mechanism of the United Nations is desirable in order to effectively coordinate efforts with and among various intergovernmental frameworks within the United Nations system and beyond, such as the G20, the Financing for Development unit, and other regional organizations.

 

Mr. Chairman,

 

                 I would like to conclude by reaffirming the commitment of all ASEAN members in the spirit of unity and collaboration to work closely with you, other member states and the UN system to realize our common goals and aspirations already set forth.

 

I thank you.

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