H.E. R.M. Marty M. Natalegawa
Permanent Representative of the Republic of Indonesia
to the United Nations
On Behalf of ASEAN
At the General Debate of the Second Committee
New York, 5 October 2009
Speaking on behalf of ASEAN - Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam - allow me first of all to congratulate you on assuming the Chairmanship of the Second Committee and to extend congratulations to other members of the bureau. Let me assure you of ASEAN’s full support and cooperation in the coming months. My thanks also go to the Secretariat for organizing the Committee’s Work and for preparing the relevant documentation.
ASEAN should also like to associate itself with the statement made by Sudan on behalf of the G77.
We are in the midst of intertwined crises that threaten to dismantle the development progresses achieved over several decades and the way of life that we all have been accustomed to.
The effect of the financial and economic crisis, for the global economy are still unfolding; climate change continues to be a destructive threat at our doorstep unless we can reach an agreement in Copenhagen in December; and energy and food prices remain high and volatile.
As if this bleak situation didn’t suffice, this year we are also confronted by the real threat of a global outbreak of the pandemic influenza H1N1 virus.
The Committee’s challenges and work this year are thus immense.
Over the next couple of months we will be addressing a wide range of issues. Most urgent for the Committee, is to help the global economy break free from the economic crisis and recession. We must ensure that we address these issues by forging meaningful, pragmatic, timely and workable solutions, taking into account the current crises and overall global development and economic situation.
We now need to ensure that the agreed follow-up actions prescribed in the outcome of the UN conference on the world financial and economic crisis and its impact on development are implemented in full and timely fashion. At the same time our work in the second Committee must also be in sync with the follow-up actions.
As such ASEAN would like to emphasize the following issues as we go about doing our work in the next few months.
First, the impact of the financial and economic crisis has been most severe on the poor. Our work in the Committee must therefore take into account and help alleviate their hardships through meaningful measures.
Second, previous calls for a comprehensive, equitable and inclusive international financial system must be addressed. We will need concrete recommendations, and the voices of emerging and developing economies must be taken into account so that the process remains inclusive. As endorsed by the leaders of the G20, we support a significant shift in quota shares of up to 7% from over-represented countries to under-represented developing countries to be completed by January 2011. This is a critical step if we want to move forward.
Third, our work in the Committee should also contribute towards efforts to establish an effective early warning system to avoid the recurrence of another global financial crisis. ASEAN notes the work being undertaken by the UN Secretary-General’s office on a Global Impact and Vulnerability Alert System (GIVAS).
For our part we in ASEAN continue to recognize the importance of regional financial sector cooperation. In this context ASEAN Leaders at the 14th ASEAN Summit in Hua Hin, Thailand, in March 2009, agreed to intensify consultations with other fora and organizations in the region, to promote financial sector cooperation in various ASEAN-led fora including ASEAN+1, ASEAN+3 and East Asia Summit. Regional cooperation, in particular the Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralisation (CMIM) and the Asian Bond Markets Initiative (ABMI), can complement the ongoing global cooperation to achieve strong, sustainable and balanced growth, as well as to promote a resilient international financial system.
ASEAN believes promoting more coordinated action by both developed and developing countries is a vital step to restore financial stability and the continued functioning of financial markets. Given the outcome of the G20 Pittsburgh Summit, in which ASEAN was also represented by the current Chair, we reiterate our position that there should be a mechanism whereby the views of non-G20 Emerging Markets Economies (EMEs) as a group can be solicited on regulatory standards and issues since implementation of the post-crisis reform will affect most economies in the global financial system.
Despite the focus on the financial crisis, we should not forget that the Second Committee still has many other important issues on our agenda. ASEAN is therefore pleased to note that the issue of food security has not been neglected. It is a vital component that has to be addressed given the systemic crisis we are experiencing.
We appreciate the intention to hold a panel discussion on agriculture development and food security as part of the Committee’s work agenda. Clearly the issue merits continued political attention and commitment given the fact that hunger and undernourishment still affect 1 billion people.
The Committee’s deliberation on the agenda item “agriculture development and food security” should approach the issue comprehensively. It should address reform of the global food and agriculture economy. It should also take into account the impact of climate change, especially on the vulnerable smallholder farmers and fishermen, and promote sustainable agricultural practices, with emphasis on technology transfer, capacity building and innovative agricultural methods including organic farming, sustainable agro industries and community based enterprises.
Recognizing the inter-linkage between food and energy, ASEAN Leaders at the 14th ASEAN Summit committed to embrace food security as a matter of permanent and high priority policy. In their joint statement on food security, Leaders pledged to strengthen cooperation to enhance food security on both production and distribution fronts. ASEAN leaders also agreed to work to ensure that resources and technology be sufficiently provided to increase food productivity, while appropriate mechanisms need to be developed to eliminate market distortions for food trade.
ASEAN is also strengthening the existing regional food security mechanism with full cooperation of the Plus Three countries namely China, Japan, and Republic of Korea. We will be establishing an ASEAN Plus Three Emergency Rice Reserve (APTERR) as a permanent mechanism in the region, adding to a number of existing food security mechanisms and frameworks that we currently already have in ASEAN.
Our work over the next few months in the Committee will be done in parallel with work being undertaken for the UNFCCC Copenhagen meeting. ASEAN reaffirms its resolve to achieve the objectives of sustainable development and to address the adverse effects of climate change, based on common but differentiated responsibilities, as well as our respective capabilities, and national circumstances. We are committed to achieve a successful outcome at the Copenhagen meeting.
For ASEAN, the transition to low- emission growth at the global level equates to genuine cooperation between developed and developing countries. Cooperation should ensure climate finance for new, cleaner, and more efficient technologies which are out-of-reach for developing countries. Cooperation should also ensure that commitments to provide predictable and sustainable support, particularly in technology transfer and relevant capacity building are realized. There should be a balanced role of IFIs and MDBs in financing and supporting such a transition.
Also important in the context of climate change is the role of forest and the ocean. ASEAN is of the view that these issues should be mainstreamed in the discussion on climate change.
Over the last week we have seen a number devastating natural disasters, including in Samoa, Tonga, Cambodia, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Indonesia. As a region prone to natural disasters, ASEAN recognizes that disaster risk reduction, including reducing vulnerability to natural disasters, is an important cross-cutting element that contributes to the achievement of sustainable development. This highlights the importance of the Committee’s work under the international strategy for disaster reduction.
In our effort to promote regional cooperation and collaboration in reducing human and property losses and intensifying joint emergency response and preparedness to disasters in the region, ASEAN will be implementing the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER) at the end of the year.
Overall ASEAN Member States have made good progress towards the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) particularly in primary education, gender equality as well as combating some infectious diseases and in some ASEAN Member States additional goals and targets have been added specific to their own particular circumstances. We are however concerned that the current global crises threaten to set back the progress made.
Our work this year must also be able to contribute concretely to our global efforts to attaining the MDGs. We should ensure active monitoring and evaluation on the attainment of MDGs, so as to provide valuable inputs for next year MDGs Review Summit. We believe that the upcoming High Level UN Conference on South-South Cooperation will reflect on 30 year contribution of the countries of the South to the cause of development and further strengthen the role of the UN in supporting South-South cooperation in overcoming new constraints and challenges and achieving the MDGs.
Finally Mr. Chairman, the global nature of our challenges requires that we address them in a global scope. Our work must be in sync with work undertaken in other processes and fora to addressing our common global development challenges. While we place importance on inclusiveness, we recognize the need for, effective, timely decision making, and implementable results. We must work with this in mind to ensure that we in the Committee remain relevant.
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