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Statement by


H.E. Dr. R.M. Marty M. Natalegawa

Permanent Representative of the Republic of Indonesia to the United Nations


before the General Debate for the High Level Segment of ECOSOC Substantive Session 2008

30 June-3 July 2008

New York, 2 July 2008 


Mr. President,


First of all, on behalf of the Indonesian delegation, let me congratulate you and the bureau members for successfully preparing this year’s ECOSOC High Level Segment.  We are confident that under your able stewardship, the substantive session will offer new and innovative solutions to address the myriad of challenge we face today. 


Indonesiaalso aligns itself with the statement delivered by the distinguished representative of Antigua and Barbuda on behalf of the Group - 77 and China.


Mr. President


We gather today under strenuous circumstances. Although halfway to the 2015 MDG deadline, most countries are still struggling to stay on track.   As we speak, 1.2 billion people continue to scrounge on less than $ 1 a day and the global crisis is sure to increase this number.  Every minute a woman dies while giving birth, and every 3 seconds a child dies before he reaches his fifth birthday.  It is a sad reality burdening the developing world. Even with the second digital decade where humankind has achieved tremendous, ground-breaking inventions and advanced information technologies, the overall quality of life seems to be worse off for the growing 4 billion poor.  


At the same time, pressing global concerns such as global financial turmoil,climate change, energy and food security has become a common challenge to all and undermining Government efforts to create a prosperous society. 


The issue of energy security continues to burden our industries and national infrastructure, especially when oil prices penetrate beyond $140/ barrel.  Food security has also become a global crisis with its multifaceted implications.  Furthermore, the issue of climate change continues to loom over our horizon, ensuring certain catastrophes, should we chose to remain ignorant. These pressing external issues are a real and present.  They hamper government efforts, particularly for developing countries to attain internationally agreed development goals.


Mr. President,


It is highly distressing when the developing world continues to struggle with these challenges and is unable to give the necessary attention to all the MDGs.

Decisive action is needed to ensure that our economies can prevail, poverty eradicated, people’s welfare enhanced, and our natural environment protected.  In this regard, there are areas that we need to address together in a concerted manner. 


First, we need a global approach that builds on our similarities rather than differences in addressing the ongoing and recent challenges we face today.


A global approach means that we need to establish a global mechanism and common objectives that serve to achieve the three pillars of sustainable development. This global mechanism should answer our current challenges and help to deliver rapid, balanced and sustained growth and development in a "globalized" world economy.


            This implies addressing the recent energy and food crisis. Because the causes of the energy and food crisis are interlinked and multiple and the impact equally multifaceted, the global solution requires a multidimensional, multi-pronged and sustained approach. It must be coherent, comprehensive and coordinated. It must also include enhancing our capacity to detect and avert the reoccurrence future crisis. The UN must work towards developing an integrated system that can monitor and detect potential danger to global food security. This will enable countries to take early actions to avert future crisis.


Given the global scale and urgency of the crisis, it is the United Nations with its universal membership that must be in the forefront of efforts to successfully resolve the crisis. Indonesia, together with Egypt and Chile, has proposed to the President elect of the 63rd session of General Assembly to consider the issue of food security and development as its main theme.  This would provide a greater opportunity for our leaders to address this challenge through a global solution.


Second, we must have decisive reform on policies at the national and global level. Times of crisis often require a radical departure from outdated policies and strategies. This moment should be optimized to instill fundamental change and reform.


Substantial reform in the international financial architecture should put sustainable development as a common platform. Our common endeavour should focus on strengthening the resilience of all nations particularly developing countries in relation to global financial shocks. We believe it is time for us to implement good governance at the international level and reduce the democratic deficit plaguing the international financial architecture. At national level, good governance is equally critical. In our country, we have launched what is said to be the most aggressive campaign against corruption in our history. Since corruption is both a national and global problem, we must be united in our efforts to combat this problem.


In addressing the global food crisis, at national level, we should take necessary reform on our agricultural policies aimed at increasing production. The experience of the food crisis confirms that agriculture is a sector worthy of investment. It is a call to strengthen and revitalize agriculture and rural development in our development policy.


At the global level, reform of world agriculture trade is needed if developing countries farmers are to have access to their local and international market. Developed countries should immediately eliminate all forms of agricultural subsidies and other market-distorting measures.  Flexibility and political will should be evidently demonstrated to address meaningfully these key concerns of developing countries at the Doha Round of Trade Negotiations. We also believe the increasing proportion of ODA for agriculture production and rural development from its current level in developing countries is urgently needed.


The same is true with climate change. To stop the encroachment of global warming, there has to be, among many measures, pervasive and vigorous reform. It can no longer be business as usual at any level. One of the most remarkable stories of reform was at last year’s Bali climate conference. There we witnessed a unique moment in the history of climate change talks as the world converged as one securing a much needed broad consensus on the Bali Roadmap.


Now it is our responsibility to carry the spirit of Bali to Copenhagen in 2009 through Poznan and ensure that we complete the climate framework that should bring developed and developing countries in closer cooperation. For this reason, Indonesia as the President of COP-13, together with next President of COP-14 and President of COP-15, will ensure Bali-Poznan and Copenhagen will be humankind’s testimony to ensure the beginning of a new chapter in the history of climate change. This will indeed be a historical test of our collective will to undertake all efforts to safeguard this planet.


            An important component of addressing climate change is the protection and preservation of our forest. As tropical rainforest country providing carbon sink to the world, we believe that there must be a sustained and coordinated international action to fight the destruction of forest and other natural resources, in particular destruction caused by illegal logging. In this context, international cooperation in preventing and combating illicit international trafficking in forest products, including timber, wildlife and other forest biological resources need to be intensified. 


Furthermore, we must enhance greater coordination on social and economic policies at the global level to maximize the real impact of limited resources. An inter-sectoral approach must be devised to combine macroeconomic, trade, environment, population and education policies within the framework of sustainable development with real benefits for the poor that deal with emerging issues, such as climate change, energy and food crisis.  


Third, we must forge genuine partnership for prosperity.


We should create a world in which global cooperation replaces global competition and domination. The chances for prosperity will depend on the extent to which each of us, in our many roles in society, play a positive force for prosperity.


The intimate collaboration among us must be the binding link for future security, stability, welfare and progress for the entire planet. In this regard, global efforts to mobilize and marshal technical assistance, technology transfer and capacity building in all areas of sustainable development, implementing good governance at national and international level, strengthening domestic financial and trading system, revitalizing the agriculture and rural development, mitigating and adapting to the impact of climate change, developing new and renewable energy and energy efficiency are very crucial in developing countries. If it is implemented, we can face our common challenges with a common partnership.


Mr. President,


All of us, governments, individuals, and businesses across the globe will be doing their part for a clean, safe, and healthy and prosperous world. We will give this earth to our grandchildren the way it was given to us, so we may  remembered as those who were responsible, not those that were cursed for  selfishness by the generations to come.


I thank you.

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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