Mrs. Dewi Savitri Wahab
Permanent Mission of the Republic of Indonesia
on Behalf of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN)
on Agenda Item 18: “Macroeconomic Policy Questions”
at the Second Committee
of the 65th Session of the UN General Assembly
New York, 11 October 2010
I have the honour of delivering this statement on behalf of the ten Member States of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN).We also align ourselves with the statement made by Yemen on behalf of the G-77 and China.
The worst of the financial crisis may have passed, but some of its negative impact remains.As such, ASEAN countries have continued our efforts nationally, as well as at regional and global level, to deal with the lingering effects of the crisis, to strengthen our institutions and augment resources against future shocks.
<!--[if !supportLists]-->Amidst today delicate economic recovery process, ASEAN believes in the need to continue to focus our attention to the attainment of our development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals. To this end our work in the second committee this year should be focused towards supporting the following:
First, a strong message was conveyed by our leaders in the Summit on the Millennium Development Goals a few weeks ago, to reaffirm and to keep the promise made in the year 2000.
The second committee must ensure that these words are followed by actions.
We must help set the conditions so that policies are implemented at the international and national level that promote development, through opening of markets, improving governance and giving priority in national budgets to public spending to promote the Millennium Development Goals.
The second committee should also contribute to establishing better monitoring the implementation of our commitments very closely, including on MDGs goal 8.
For ASEAN, we remain committed to the MDGs, particularly in relation to sustainable development, technology transfer, and education, and in collaboration with the UN specialised bodies.We are also continuously strengthening our close collaboration among the public and private sectors and civil society in addressing challenges and developing strategies on the MDGs.
Second, our committee should contribute to the strengthening of Economic Global Governance. Work on IFS should contribute to strengthening financial regulation and supervision, multilateral surveillance, macroeconomic policy coordination, and developing a better a global financial safety net and international reserve system.
In this context, our work should be in concert and support the process being undertaken by ECOSOC, G20, and mandate of Financial Crisis outcome document.
Furthermore while reaffirmingthe central role of the UN in global governance,ASEAN also believe on the need to strengthen the interplay between the UN and other process outside this august body.
Informal groups such as the G20 are playing important role reshaping global economic governance. These groupings need to strengthen their institutional linkages with the UN and consult broadly with the general membership.We therefore fully support the President of the General Assembly’s efforts in this regard.
ASEAN also appreciate the G20’s invitation for ASEAN to participate in its previous meetings and the upcoming Seoul Summit.ASEAN will do our partto encourage the G20 to promote greater inclusivity and transparency in its processes.
Thirdly, ASEAN is of the view that a strong and sustained global recovery is indispensable for employment creation, poverty alleviation and sustainable development, is central for achieving the Millennium Development Goals. While recognizing there has been a resurgence in trade that has contributed to the recovery, growth in trade is still being stifle by the continuing stalemate in the Doha Round negotiations.
ASEAN stresses the urgency of concluding the Doha Round, particularly given the need for liberalisation of developed country’s markets for developing countries.The onus lies with all of us, but most of all, the major developed.On this score, ASEAN would like to underscore our longstanding support for the Lao PDR’s early accession to the WTO.
Allow me today to also share with the Second Committee on ASEAN’s joined efforts to deal with today global economic challenges, particularly through greater collaboration and coordination including through regional integration.
ASEAN is expected to achieve real GDP growth of over 5% in 2010, compared to 1.5% last year.Part of this could be attributed to the stimulus packages introduced by a number of countries in the wake of the crisis.
But the key driving forces at the back of this confidence are, first, the strong growth and recovery led by the major Asian economies, namely, China and India, and second, our national and regional efforts towards ASEAN integration, and integration with the larger Asian markets.
ASEAN recognises that, at the heart of our challenges, is the fundamental issue of development.As a group, we have addressed this primarily by boosting regional trade and investment.The centrepiece of this strategy is ASEAN integration.
ASEAN is committed to push on towards economic integration and realise a single market and production base by 2015.We are also working to liberalise our financial services, and to develop and integrate our capital markets by 2015.
Our commitment towards collaboration and coordination can be seen in our strategy in responding to the financial crisis. Collectively we established several initiatives under the ASEAN+3 framework.The Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralisation (CMIM), for instance, is the first currency swap facility created for ASEAN+3 to provide financial support to countries with short term liquidity needs.
The CMIM underwent an enlarged US$120 billion swap arrangement earlier this year.We are also establishing an ASEAN+3 Macroeconomic Research Office (AMRO), an independent regional monitoring and surveillance unit, to support its implementation.
In the context of international trade, ASEAN has worked tirelessly with our partners to conclude the Doha Development Agenda. We are leading by example by continuously undertaking self liberalization and strengthening regional trade infrastructure.
Since the 1990s, we have decreased intra-ASEAN tariffs from 12.76% to 0.05%.We have now turned our attention to trade facilitation.The ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA), which entered into force this year is comprehensive in scope and will help facilitate trade by reducing transaction time and the costs of doing business.We are also looking to implement the ASEAN Comprehensive Investment Agreement (ACIA) soon.
ASEAN has also developed FTAs with its major economic partners such as China, Japan, Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand.Our integration into the wider Asian region and global markets will remain open and inclusive in nature.
Another important project this year for ASEAN integration is the ASEAN Connectivity Initiative (ACI).We are working to close the various gaps in road and rail links, aviation and maritime services, in order to allow people, goods and services to flow more freely within the region.We hope to also benefit the broader East Asian region and international community with these increased opportunities for trade, investment, tourism and development.
Despite the progress made in ASEAN, too many of our people still live in poverty and require international assistance.I would also like to stress that ASEAN integration is, at the heart of it, a development project to support all countries at various development stages in the region.It is a self-help exercise; it is South-South cooperation.
In the ASEAN spirit of collaboration and consensus building, ASEAN stands ready to work with all partners to achieve our shared goals for a more just, peaceful and prosperous world.
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
Tel: 1.212.972.8333, Fax: 1.212.972.9780 - www.indonesiamission-ny.org