H.E. R.M. Marty M. Natalegawa
Permanent Representative of the Republic of Indonesia to the United Nations
On Behalf of ASEAN
At the Second Committee
On Agenda Item 58: Operational Activities for Development
New York, 14 October 2009
I have the honor of delivering this statement on behalf of the ten Member States of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN).
ASEAN thanks the Secretary-General’s reports which provide a good basis for our deliberations and our work in the Committee under Agenda Item 58.
ASEAN associates itself with the statement made by the distinguished representative of Sudan on behalf of G-77 and China.
Since the historic UN conferences and summits of the 1990’s, the world has galvanized unprecedented efforts in response to the vast array of interlinked development challenges. The Millennium Development Goals, which focus on a number of urgent and critical areas of development are only part of the broad and comprehensive development framework, but if achieved in full, they can significantly enable millions of people to escape the burdens of impoverishment, reduce inequality and underdevelopment, enhancing world productivity and prosperity.
Next year marks a decade of efforts worldwide to meet the MDGs, which have been the subject of an enormous amount of follow up in and out of the United Nations. Much progress has been reported worldwide. Yet, without sustained and united efforts of the entire international community, many developing countries risk missing the 2015 deadline. The United Nations through operational activities must continue to mobilize support and enhance its coordination role of development assistance tothe developing world. The set of UN reforms that have taken place have helped to align the UN with the MDGs. And there are four key areas that are essential to underline:
First, adequate and predictable funding is necessary so that the UN can successfully discharge its responsibilities by virtue of its universal and grant nature. It is important to fulfill commitments to increase funds on UN operational activities while taking into account the national strategies and priorities of developing countries. The provision of core resources, as well as increasing the overall level of development aid to assist countries in reaching international agreed development goals, including the MDGs need to be further emphasized.
Second,the UN should continue to advance leadership, provide clear guidance, enhance greater coherence, effectiveness and efficiency in the operational activities of the entire UN system. Towards this end, closer and strengthened cooperation between UN entities and counterparts at country and regional levels is important. The UN system-wide coherence approach with “Delivering as One” pilot programs taken by eight countries on the voluntary basis needs to be thoroughly assessed with a view to improving mandates of operational activities for development and making UN development assistance more effective. We continue to support the sincere efforts by Viet Nam, a member of ASEAN, in carrying out the “One UN” pilot program.
Third, it is now time for Member States after close to three years since the Secretary General’s High Level Panel’s report was published, to proceed to practical discussions on possible deliverables of the under-debated “system-wide coherence” issue, including inter alia governance, funding and the relationship between ECOSOC and the governing bodies of the funds and programmes. To this end and to ensure the continuity of our common efforts, it is important that the co-facilitators be appointed soon.
Fourth, there is an urgent need to simplify and harmonize the reporting system of the UN architecture. The monitoring and evaluation capacities within the UN system need to be improved, particularly at the country level. We support the UN’s efforts to build a comprehensive, sustainable and consistent financial data and reporting system for development related operational activities of the UN system.
By the same token, the achievement of the MDGs also depends on how the UN responds to natural disasters and addresses gender issues among others. In the face of devastating natural disasters, the operational activities need more determined efforts through immediate extension of humanitarian and rehabilitation assistance to effected areas. Closer collaboration between the UN system as well as among member states to build capacities for nations and regions, especially in early warning systems are important measures to complement broader disaster preparedness and mitigation initiatives.
On gender issues, ASEAN countries support UNIFEM efforts to carry out the United Nation Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) strategic plan for 2008-2011 in a fruitful and effective manner. We encourage UNIFEM to continue its advocacy on gender mainstreaming as a major part of the UN development system’s response to global challenges.
Economic uncertainties, high risks and large output gaps, rising unemployment, protectionism and worsening poverty have given rise to more vigorous cooperation among developing countries to attract and share gains from a wide range of areas. South-South cooperation is not an option but an imperative to complement the fundamental North-South cooperation in order to contribute to the achievement of internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals. South-South cooperation constitutes a tremendous force of solidarity in proactively facing and successfully overcoming the continued threats created by the negative impacts of globalization and various global challenges.
The growing importance of South-South cooperation goes hand in hand with the increasingly important role that developing nations are now playing in the global economy. Indeed, a number of developing countries have become important global suppliers of goods and have developed expertise in both technologically advanced and more traditional economic sectors. Given their ability to share resources and deliver results at relatively low costs across the South, those developing countries are expected to continue to play a pivotal role in improving the development prospects of the least developed countries and countries with a vulnerable economy.
The international community has recognized the importance of South-South cooperation for development in developing countries. South-South cooperation requires more support and facilitation from the international community, particularly from development partners and United Nations agencies in terms of financial assistance, best practices and knowledge sharing, technology transfer and capacity-building promotion. Triangular cooperation has been recognized as a valuable and useful arrangement which contributes positively to meeting the development needs of developing countries.
In this regard, the ASEAN nations have committed to strengthening and widening South-South cooperation and collaboration, engaging in multilateral and bilateral initiatives, taking necessary measures, and designing appropriate follow-up mechanisms to make full use of South-South cooperation. The forthcoming High level Conference on South-South cooperation to be held in Nairobi in December 2009 will hopefully be an opportunity for the South to introduce a South-South cooperation architecture based on the needs and priorities of developing countries. The conference should also be an avenue for strengthening triangular cooperation. In addition, a mechanism should be established to monitor and review the progress and delivery of the commitments and programs made by the international community.
Finally, the ASEAN members in the spirit of unity and collaboration stand ready to work with other member states and the UN system to realize our common development agenda.
I thank you.
Permanent Mission of the Republic of Indonesia to the United Nations, New York
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