Indonesia Offers Its Vast Experience and Fresh Leadership in FAO Head Bid



1.    FAO Director-General Candidate for 2012-2015 period from Indonesia, Indroyono Soesilo (56), stopped by in Beijing today (30/05/2011) on his campaign rallies to gather support for the election. In the capital of China, he met with the Director-General for International Organizations and Conferences of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Deputy Director-General for the International Cooperation of the Ministry of Agriculture of the People’s Republic of China.


2.    China positively welcomes Indonesia’s candidacy for FAO’s top position. Recognizing the country’s stance in the international rostrum as well as the individual qualification of the candidate, China, as stated by the respective senior officials that the candidate met this afternoon, sees that Indonesia has a big chance to get to the next round of the election. During the meeting, Indonesia also extended the invitation to the Chinese counterparts to attend a reception held on 24 June 2011 in Rome, Italy, which received assenting response from the Chinese side. A handful of Indonesian high-rank officials will attend the reception that is organized ahead the prestigious election; among others are the Coordinating Minister for People’s Welfare, Minister of Agriculture, Minister of Transportation, Minister of Maritime and Fishery, and Minister of Forestry.


3.    Soesilo, currently the Senior Deputy Minister of the Coordinating Ministry of People’s Welfare of the Republic of Indonesia, was officially nominated by the Indonesian Government on June 2010, competing with five other candidates from Austria, Brazil, Iraq, Iran and Spain, to replace Jacques Diouf of Senegal, the outgoing leader of FAO. ASEAN’s nine other member countries backed up Indonesia’s candidacy immediately after its announcement. Now, just less than a month away from the election date on 26 June 2011, he is expected to garner ample supports to win the position of the head of one of the UN’s top bodies.


4.    It is high time for Indonesia to play a greater role in the international forum. Indonesia is the current chair of ASEAN, initiator of Non-Aligned Movement and an active advocate on climate change issues. It is also an emerging economy as well as a member of G20 with much leverage to articulate the voice of the developing countries and to parley with the developed countries on various issues. In more particular grounds, Indonesia can share its substantial experience in food security and poverty alleviation, which are FAO’s major missions.


5.    The role of FAO is getting more instrumental and challenging. Approximately 925 million people in the world still suffer from hunger and malnutrition. At present, there are 6 billion world populations to feed; and by the year 2050, it is estimated that the number will rise to about 9 billion. Innovation to formulate appropriate programs in increasing the global food security is therefore crucial.


6.    Indonesian candidate puts forward the main objective of strengthening the global food security by ensuring that food must be available, accessible, affordable, and safe to consume. To attain this end, FAO must collaborate with its member countries, the knowledge-based organizations and all relevant stakeholders to mobilize the distinct capabilities, expertise, and available resources as well as to manage their use effectively and sustainably. He introduces a Three-pillar Poverty Eradication Program—direct assistance, people empowerment and entrepreneurship programs, as a method to reduce the number of people living under the poverty line vis-à-vis food affordability. In addressing food availability issues, he suggests that greater attentions should also be directed towards fisheries sector as many maritime countries, including Indonesia, have considerable concern for their ocean potentials.


7.    Soesilo also points out the urgency of comprehensive reform to make the world body more capable, effective, transparent and decentralized in coping with the new challenges in food security, agriculture and other natural resources development.  A fresh and strong leadership with professional managerial and financial skills is required to direct the world organization in addressing the present and future challenges.


8.    Indroyono Soesilo has actively involved in supervising FAO project on the study of combating IUU Fishing Practices in the Arafura Sea 2008, represented Indonesia in the UNEP-UN FAO Blue Carbon Fund Initiative and a leading promoter of the establishment of the Coral Triangle Initiative. With a new and fresh leadership, combined with ideas and experiences, Indonesian candidate is ready to work together to forge a world free of famine and malnutrition.