Minister of National Development Planning/
Head of National Development Planning Agency
Republic of Indonesia
H.E. Ms. Armida Alisjahbana
at the First/Inaugural Meeting of High-Level Political Forum (HLPF)
New York, 24 September 2013
I would like to firstly congratulate you on your presidency of the 68th Session of the GeneralAssembly. I would also like to thank you, Mr. President, for convening this inaugural meetingof the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development.
We have borne witness to the multiple challenges that have put sustainable development efforts at risk. Millions have become or remain entrapped under the weight of historic pricehikes on food in recent years. Climate change continues to threaten sustainable development and pose catastrophic risk for all life on earth. Meanwhile, the persistent impact of the economic and financial crisis has impeded progress of developing countries to achieve development goals; as well as rapid population growth is resulting in tighter competition for food, fresh water, energy resources, land and employment opportunities.
The development challenges we face at this juncture are colossal. The structural and development challenges experienced by the developing countries should be taken into account in our discussions of a new strategy for the implementation of sustainable development.
One of the most important outcomes of the United Nations Conference for Sustainable Development (Rio+20) was the decision to establish a universal, intergovernmental high-level political forum (HLPF) on sustainable development. The Rio+20 outcome document underscored that the forum should be built on the strengths, experiences, resources and inclusive participation modalities of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD).
Subsequently the HLPF is envisioned to replace the Commission. Indonesia acknowledges the achievements of CSD. We recognize that it was the first and only high-level intergovernmental forum under the United Nations addressing the sustainable development agenda in an integrated manner. The CSD played an important role in launching initiatives and introducing imminent themes, among others, issues of small island developing states, forests, oceans, chemicals, persistent organic pollutants, and energy, into the intergovernmental debates.
However, the Commission also faced difficulties in keeping up with the intricate linkages of sustainable development. By the same token, it lacked in adequately responding to the current challenges of development. It lacked the grasp in securing comprehensive participation and integration of the three dimensions of sustainable development – economic, social, and environment dimensions – into its work and outcomes at all levels.
With the ever increasing new and emerging challenges on sustainable development, it is evident that strengthening the institutional dimension of sustainable development is relevant and necessary.
Deliberations on the subject should be guided by the outcome of the Rio+20 Conference as well as other existing UN multilateral agreements and commitments.
From our perspective, Indonesia would like to stress the need to pursue a development model, which could guarantee growth which is not only sustainable, but also inclusive. Development that is sustainable. Growth that is equitable. Indonesia is of the view that economic growth needs to provide fair and adequate access to economic and development benefits to all levels of communities across the world, as well as ensuring environmental sustainability.
Last year, we agreed that the high-level political forum shall provide guidance and political leadership, and become a dynamic platform for stocktaking and agenda setting to advance sustainable development.
Therefore, Indonesia views the inaugural Forum today as a momentous occasion to fully embrace all three dimensions of sustainable development. It is imperative that the Forum stress on avoiding overlap with existing structures, bodies, and entities within the UN system. It needs to perform as the main platform, under the auspices of the UN General Assembly and ECOSOC, in assessing progress and gaps in the implementation of global commitments, policies and actions in sustainable development.
Indonesia is of the view that the hybrid nature of the Forum provides ample opportunities to ensure a comprehensive integration of the sustainable development agenda as well as to engage adequate participation of relevant stakeholders into the forum.
For an effective delivery, we believe the HLPF should function in the following ways:
First, it should be inclusive. The Forum must maintain its universal character, as mandated by Rio+20. All states will be able to participate in the Forum’s deliberations and decision-making processes on an equal footing, in all meetings, and at all levels.
Second, HLPF should be the authoritative body on sustainable development that provides political leadership at the highest level. It should reflect global wisdom on sustainable development, which gives it the political weight to further influence action. To do so, HLPF need to maintain its ability to stay relevant; maintain flexibility to address various challenges to sustainable development, in a more coherent and focused manner.
Third, HLPF should be an integral part of the post-2015 development agenda. The Forum could serve as a global platform under the auspices of the United Nations, to ensure the coordination and coherence among the existing Rio+20 follow up processes, such as the OWG on SDGs, the inter-governmental committee of experts on sustainable development financing strategy, as well as the process to develop a technology facilitation mechanism.
We have arrived today, after a long and arduous process, in establishing the HLPF. It is our fervent hope that the Forum in the future would be able to fulfill its promise; to function as an effective global governance mechanism that is able to meet present and future challenges, in the implementation of sustainable development.
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