Delegation of the Republic of Indonesia
on behalf of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)
on Agenda Item 24 (a) :
“Eradication of poverty and other development issues”
at the Second Committee of the 65th Session
of the UN General Assembly
New York, 21 October 2010
1. I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN). I align ASEAN’s statement with the Group of 77 and China.
2. The recent global economic and financial crises have reduced the availability of both national and external resources to sufficiently sustain development projects and poverty reduction activities in developing countries.
3. It is alarming that over a billion people have been pushed under the poverty-line in 2009, alone. According to the International Labour Organization over 30 million jobs will be lost by the end of this year. More crucially, income inequality among the rich and the poor are increasing rapidly, and the global economy seems to be biased against the weak.
4. Moreover, climate change, which has resulted in more frequent droughts and destructive floods and storms worldwide, also has a very adverse impact on poor countries, whose economies depend mainly on agriculture.
5. Furthermore, the burden of debt reimbursement presents another major hurdle for the LDCs to meet the MDGs on the target date of 2015, as their ability to fund development projects especially in social sectors are severely curtailed.
6. For this reason, we call for better coordination and participation of all stakeholders. The continued efforts of the public and private sector, and the UN system in implementing the MDGs are vital.
7. We emphasize the need to step-up efforts to promote regional connectivity, especially infrastructure and ICT development with a view to narrowing the development gap, promoting human development, and accelerate the progress to achieving the MDGs in the region.
8. We call for support in developing agricultural sector productivity through greater and more responsible investment, improved research and development, enhanced agricultural innovation and knowledge management, transfer of technology and human resources development, and focus on small scale farmers.
9. We also underline the importance to enhance support to strengthening agriculture infrastructure in developing countries, including through enhanced water and land management, development of transport and storage infrastructure, and comprehensive support throughout the value chain from production to distribution.
10. We affirm ASEAN’s commitment to fully address socio-economic disparities and poverty reduction. Under the current Roadmap for the ASEAN Community for the period 2009-2015, several initiatives have been taken to implement the ASEAN Economic Community Blueprint, ASEAN Political-Security Community Blueprint, ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community Blueprint. The efforts include implementing Action Plans on Rural Development and Poverty Eradication for the period 2004 – 2010, the Second IAI Work Plan, which deals with issues including micro-financing; narrowing the development gap; climate change adaptation, and poverty reduction.
11. Poverty reduction is among the most challenging tasks for the global leadership, and remains among the highest priorities of the developing countries. From ASEAN’s perspective, we learnt that peace, political stability, as well as economic stability supported by a vibrant development partnership are keys to sustainable development, which would provide us a better opportunity to address the challenges we face in meeting the MDGs by 2015.
12. It is critically important for developing countries to know how to get more commercially meaningful access to international markets. In other words, quota-free and duty-free schemes for products from LDCs will contribute to rising export earnings and make trade exchange work for development.
13. In addition, the developed countries should fulfill their commitment to meet the internationally agreed target of 0.7% ODA for all developing countries, as well as to meet the internationally agreed target of 0.15% - 0.20% of their GNP to LDCs. More serious consideration should also be given to relieving poor countries of their debt burden thus increasing their financial resources to fund essential development projects and, particularly, to halving extreme poverty by 2015.
14. Meeting the MDGs target of halving poverty by 2015 requires steady economic growth and a more pro-poor policy. A number of governance reforms to create an enabling environment for poverty reduction are also needed. It is important to expand growth in sectors that can generate greater employment, and to invest more intensively in sectors such as health and education.
15. In line with the SG report on the Implementation of the Second United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty (2008-2017) to promote employment and decent work for all, we call for continued regional and international efforts to provide adequate employment opportunities for all workers. Safety and health at the workplace; achieving good working conditions; productive employment for all workers, and adequate incomes to keep them and their families out of poverty remain vital objectives to achieve.
16. At the same time, we will work towards strengthening the network of social security systems in the region. We attach great importance to social security and the role it plays in the process of development and integration. We look forward to the development of strategic initiatives and implementation of projects to assist Member States in improving the quality, standards, coverage and sustainability of their social protection and increasing their capacity to manage social risks.
17. We therefore encourage initiatives to promote exchange of views and best practices in social security systems, support for information exchange and researches on the development of viable social security measures for vulnerable groups. We will cooperate in reviewing the existing social protection regimes for formal and informal sectors in ASEAN to promote the well-being and living conditions of the poor.
18. We emphasize that regional partnerships and regional cooperation in the field of trade, investment, technology support, infrastructure development, and scaling up of knowledge sharing to promote pro-poor growth, and employment opportunities for all are crucial in eradication of poverty and hunger and in addressing the specifics concerns of countries with special needs in meeting the MDGs.
19. Eradication of poverty and achievement of MDGs need more than ever the participation from all developed countries as well as the participation of financial institutions. Otherwise efforts to achieve the MDGs would be futile. To this end ASEAN leaders have pledged ASEAN’s commitment to addressing socio-economic disparities and poverty by developing and implementing an ASEAN Roadmap towards achieving the MDGs.
20. In conclusion, I would like to stress, eliminating poverty and attaining prosperity is a treasured dream, and revered duty for all of us. Let us fight for a world that is free from hunger so that together we can put an end to extreme poverty by 2015.
Permanent Mission of the Republic of Indonesia to the United Nations, New York
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