General Statement by
Mr. Dana A. Kartakusuma,
Assistant Minister for Technology and Sustainable Development,
State Ministry for Environment Republic of Indonesia
At the Commission on Sustainable Development sixteen Session
New York, 5 May 2008
Indonesiaaligns its statement with the distinguished representative of Antigua and Barbuda on behalf of the Group of 77 and China. I thank the Secretary-General for the reports given to us providing a good basis for our deliberations over the coming two weeks.
As we begin to review progress in implementing Agenda 21 and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation, poverty grips the developing world unrelentingly. We are drawn to the plight of the “bottom billions”. Climate change is upon us. And food and energy prices have been soaring in the past few years.
These challenges serve to highlight the sustainable development imperative. They also remind us of the significance of this session.
It is indeed timely that we reconsider the central role of agriculture and rural development to reducing poverty and hunger. Its role is even more tangible with a global food crisis in our hands today. Moreover, evidence shows that agriculture and rural development encourage more effective land management, which can in turn prevent the further spread of drought and desertification, which has plagued much of the African continent.
While acknowledging the various and significant initiatives taken to address all thematic areas, there are still gaps and challenges. It is important that this session consider and provide concrete recommendations on these issues for the next CSD’s policy session.
The doubling and tripling of food price in the last few years carries serious and long term repercussions for development and poverty reduction. Like climate change, the global food crisis needs a global solution and concerted action. The UN needs to examine ways to lead an integrated response to this global problem. In this regard, we welcome the initiative of Secretary General to establish a High-Powered Task Forces of expertsin addressing this pressing issue. Indonesia believes this current food crisis requires urgent attention at the highest political level including by the convening of a high level meeting on food crisis. While this crisis concerns all global citizens, Indonesia views that the UN General Assembly should undertake the issue of food crisis for the main theme of the next 63rd session.
Food crisis should be seen as a strong signal that shows the need to promote and implement a global resource saving movement. Natural resources, including mineral resources have been exploited in an unsustainable pattern, increasing industrial wastes, which in turn will contribute to more use of land. The conversion of agricultural and forest lands should be stopped and wrong direction of investments leading of conversion of land need to be controlled.
Marine and ocean resources are also considered as a source of food, complementary source of terrestrial food. Consequently, protection of maritime resources and international cooperation on prevention of illegal fishery should be promoted and strengthened. In developing countries like Indonesia, poverty pockets also remain at coastal areas, which highly affect fishermen.
On the issue of land use and deforestation in tropical rainforest countries, Indonesia has been taking proactive measures at all levels to address this issue. Last year during the High Level Event on Climate Change, President Yudhoyono took the initiative to hold a tropical rainforest leaders meeting. The meeting agreed to explore cooperation among the tropical rainforest nations in support of sustainable forest management. The cooperation is being taken a step further with a development of a cooperation framework which is expected to be completed by the end of this year.
To conclude, I wish to reiterate Indonesia’s continued commitment to working with the international community in advancing the sustainable agenda. However, global efforts to advance sustainable development are threatened by the global food crisis. The poor are hurt disproportionately. The food crisis needs to be urgently addressed by the international community in a comprehensive and holistic manner.
I Thank You.
Permanent Mission of the Republic of Indonesia to the United Nations, New York
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