Statement at G-77 Annual Ministerial Meeting, New York, 26 September 2008


Statement by H.E. DR. Hassan Wirajuda,
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia,
At G-77 Annual Ministerial Meeting
New York, 26 September 2008

Mr. Chairman,

1. The present G-77 annual ministerial meeting is an important and timely opportunity to reflect on our common concerns with regard to the world economy. The changing international environment is testing our ability to achieve sustainable development.

2. Our meeting today coincides with the widespread use of the word “crisis” to describe existing conditions in the world. The global economy is under severe pressure from unfavorable financial and environmental forces.
3. Pressing global concerns such as climate change, high-priced energy and food insecurity are weakening national potential for development. They have caused the slowing down of economic growth and created fears about the possibility of recession.
4. The recent collapse of the WTO talks in Geneva has dimmed future prospects even further. These failed talks have put at grave risk the attainment of internationally agreed development goals, including the MDGs, by 2015.
5. These unresolved challenges are likely to become more complex and difficult in the future. They could become divisive forces, separating development partners from one another. Indeed, they reinforce the inclination for each nation to be preoccupied with its own economic well-being. This is particularly evident in some responses to the current global food crisis.
6. In this regard, the Group of 77 should assume the role of a driving force for unity within the South and build a bridge and trust between the North and the South. Our Group should serve as a reliable partner committed to the common goal of worldwide prosperity.
7. We must therefore be inventive and farsighted in identifying practical solutions to problems in multilateral development forums. We should exercise our initiative rather than merely react to proposals from our development partners.
8. It is within this context that we welcome the Development Platform for the South.
9. First articulated at the 2005 South Summit held in Doha, this Platform will soon be concluded in 2009. As a framework of development options, it will possess the power to stimulate considerable economic growth in the South. And it will facilitate the integration of developing countries into the global economy.
10. The combined impetus of the Platform and the 2015 MDG deadline should be a powerful engine for time-bound growth in South.
Mr. Chairman,
11. For this to occur, there are four important goals as priority schema that must be pursued by developing countries as a collective entity.
12. First of all, the prosperity agenda must be made a priority in international forums.
13. The principle of global prosperity is already being honored by the United Nations system. Its role in monitoring the implementation of all internationally agreed development goals and commitments should be strengthened even further. This will require the establishment of appropriate machinery for such a purpose.
14. At this point, we take the opportunity to urge all our development partners to fulfill their development commitments. At present, the most urgent is ensuring food security. There should be universal support for a second Green Revolution. This revolution must enhance the role of poor smallholding farmers in developing countries and boost food production globally.
15. For its part, the Group of 77 should be an advocate for an active global partnership framework on food security. The partnership should pursue time-bound objectives. And its efforts should benefit from an effective monitoring system designed to evaluate the implementation process. In this way, the possibility for the recurrence of another food crisis will be greatly minimized. An additional safeguard, in this respect, would be a UN-managed early warning system on global food security.
16. Secondly, there must be systemic changes in global economy architecture that benefit developing countries.
17. The international financial, economic and trading systems should be made more equitable and better attuned to the needs of developing countries. In particular, the policy- and decision-making processes of the international economic system should be made more transparent. Along with that, developing countries’ participation in these processes must improve significantly. Their needs and concerns must be taken fully into consideration and reflected in final decisions.
18. Toward this end, the international financial architecture should undergo substantial reform. Discussions at the forthcoming review of the Monterrey Consensus should address this fundamental issue. Attention should also focus on the importance of innovative sources of funding to deal with climate change. In addition, ways must be explored on how to mobilize resources to revitalize agriculture in developing countries. Such revitalization will contribute to global food security. At the end of the review, the needs of developing countries should form an integral part of its final agreement.
19. Thirdly, national development strategies must include environmental concerns.
20. Climate change and development are major challenges facing developing countries. But in handling these challenges they need international support. A unique moment in the history of climate change talks was the convergence of global viewpoints to create the broad consensus for the Bali Roadmap. But the roadmap is just the starting point.
21. Now it is our responsibility to carry the spirit of Bali to Copenhagen in 2009 through Poznan. The climate framework must bring about closer cooperation between developed and developing countries. For developing countries, finance and technology transfer are central and vital issues. Both of these link developing country engagement and industrialized country actions.
22. An indication of Indonesia’s engagement with the matter has been the steps taken to reduce emissions from deforestation. Other steps have been taken to promote cleaner future energy initiatives. In this regard, we call on our development partners to show good faith and demonstrate political will by assisting developing countries to combat climate change.
23. The fourth and final challenge is to explore ways to strengthen South-South and Triangular Cooperation.
24. Present circumstances favor such a strengthening process. A dynamic South is gradually emerging as an additional motor for world trade and new investment. Growing at 11 percent a year for the last decade, South-South trade has become an exchange of goods, services and commodities valued at over $2 trillion. Its expansion reveals the increasing importance of markets in the South.
25. The 2009 Conference on South-South Cooperation will be an important opportunity to consolidate these positive trends. The Group must also consider the next steps to institutionalize multilateral cooperation within the South. However such processes should not discount the value and importance of North-South development cooperation.
Mr. Chairman,
26. It is our beliefs achieving these four goals can promote further development of the South. This in turn will strengthen the south in addressing the current global challenges including the food crisis, climate change, as well as ensuring we stay on track to achieving the MDGs.
27. Moreover, this current session of General Assembly should also be used to reiterate our commitment to creating a conducive environment in transforming the current challenges into a golden opportunity. This should also include strengthening solidarity and cohesion among all nations in taking the meaningful and decisive actions.
28. Finally, our globalized world presents us with inter-related challenges and opportunities. In responding to the challenges, we should build genuine global partnership for action. We should strengthen our common platform by formulating workable solutions to the many challenges we face. With sustained support from our development partners, it is within our power to create an equitable, peaceful, and prosperous future for all. We should therefore do so without hesitation.

I thank you.