April 24, 2012 Economy, Development and Environment

Mr. President,

Excellencies Ministers of UNCTAD Member Countries,

Distinguished Delegates,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Let me begin by conveying my highest appreciation to the Government of Qatar for hosting this important conference, and for the generous hospitality accorded to our delegations.

I also wish to congratulate and commend the President of the Conference for the excellent conduct of this meeting.

It is a great pleasure and honour for me to share ideas with you on how our nations can achieve sustainable and inclusive development within the framework of UNCTAD.

It has been almost fifty years since UNCTAD began working to improve the quality of human life through trade and development. As we begin our final sprint towards the achievement of our MDG targets in 2015, it is fitting that we rejuvenate the spirit that launched this Conference.

With that UNCTAD spirit, we can address the multifaceted, interlinked, simultaneous and transnational challenges that we are all facing.

These include the global financial crisis and economic uncertainty. The challenges of climate change, food security and energy security.

No nation is immune to their impact.


Distinguished Delegates,

Our meeting today gives us a unique opportunity to reflect on our common concerns on global trade and development. On how we can advance the development process in spite of these challenges.

How we can invigorate our approach to the development agenda.

And how we can ensure that globalization becomes a force for progress and not an impediment.

Indeed, we must see to it that the challenges of globalization do not erode the gains we have made toward the MDGs.

We must ensure that UNCTAD XIII upholds inclusive growth and sustainable development through an integrated solution to current global challenges.

And, finally, we must ensure such an integrated solution is reflected in our meeting’s outcome document.


Distinguished Delegates,

Let me now offer some pertinent points on how we can overcome the challenges to development and make further progress. To make globalization a positive force for all nations, big and small, North or South.

First, we must make development the central goal of our global agenda. We should also ensure that our respective commitments in advancing global development agenda is mainstreamed and given top priority in our respective national programmes.

For developing countries can only benefit from globalization, if it takes place in conditions conducive for development. And developed countries will also benefit from developing countries’ continued growth, which has contributed to global economic resilience these days.

On the part of the developing world, they need to see to it that development is achieved through the right policies, effective institutions and good governance.

And they need to adhere to the principle of inclusive growth and sustainable development in their national strategies.

We in Indonesia know this from experience.

When the Asian Crisis devastated Indonesia in the late 1990s, we were on the brink of economic turmoil. The only way we could overcome that crisis was to reform all aspects of our national life.

Part of that reform was to enhance the development agenda in our national strategy. We had to close the development gap. We had to adopt pro-growth, pro-job creation, pro-poor and pro-environment economic policies.

Since then our economy has achieved dynamism and resilience. Without too much discomfort, we weathered the global economic crisis of 2008-2009. We graduated from dependence on IMF funding. We became a member of the G20 forum where we now consistently give voice to the interests of the developing world. And wage an intense advocacy for development.

An advocacy that we are also waging at the regional level. Thus in ASEAN we are narrowing the development gaps among member countries.

At the same time, our developed partners should also do their part. At the international level, they should create a situation conducive to development. They should strive for stability. They should pursue an effective aid-for-trade programme. And meet their commitment to allocate 0.7 percent of GNP to ODA.

UNCTAD can play a key role in this regard.

It can help developing countries formulate effective strategies for inclusive growth and sustainable development in a globalized setting.

It can persuade our developed partners to meet their responsibility for creating a global economic climate that nurtures development.

And thus, global prosperity is achieved.

Second, we must build an international architecture that serves equitable global prosperity.

The recurrent of global economic and financial crisis is evidence for the fragile international economic and financial system. But there is much room for improvement. For the benefit of all.

The rampant protectionism in international trade is vindication of the absence of non-discriminatory multilateral trading system. A trading system that is open, equitable and predictable.

The worldwide unemployment problem is testimony for the lack of international mechanism that is capable of generating expeditious recovery in time of crisis.

We must act expeditiously to rectify this predicament. To build a system that can support economic growth that is strong, equitable, balanced and sustainable. A global economic regime that can withstand financial shocks. And a global economic governance that gives due emphasis to development.

This means that the developing world must have a greater voice in international economic decision-making. And that we must build an international trading system that is equitable and non-discriminatory.

We must work hard to conclude the Doha Round of negotiations and thereby address the trade inequities that developing countries are suffering. We must all renounce protectionism. By adhering to free trade, we help the poor who are hardest hit by the recession.

For all these to happen, UNCTAD has to attend to the restructuring of the international economic system so that it will remove barriers to development and promote inclusive growth. And deliver prosperity to all.

Third, we must all forge a genuine global partnership.

In an interdependent world, no country can solve all the challenges it is facing. International cooperation is thus a must.

Fortunately, we already have all the international agreements needed to form that global partnership.

What is essential now is for developed and developing countries to do their respective parts to ensure equitable and balanced global economic growth.

And for UNCTAD to strengthen the axis of cooperation and partnership for trade and development.

Global growth and development is the responsibility of all countries: North and South, West and East, large and small, developed and developing.

We must therefore strengthen North-South, South-South and Triangular cooperation, taking a complementary approach, rather than a substitutive one.

Over the years, Indonesia has seen how South-South and Triangular Cooperation can help nations achieve development goals.

Because developing countries face similar challenges, their sharing of experiences can be particularly enlightening and fruitful.

Thus the resulting cooperation is country-specific. Not donor-driven.

That helps developing countries become more self-reliant. And become more creative in solving their development challenges on the basis of their own aspirations, values and needs.

South-South and Triangular Cooperation should therefore be reinvigorated so that it can hasten the attainment of development goals, notably the MDGs.


Distinguished Delegates,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As we approach the Golden Jubilee of UNCTAD, we are called upon to do more to advance the trade and development agenda.

And to make sure that both the developing and the developed world are part of the solution to the global economic challenges. And that we all collaborate on concrete initiatives for the good of humankind.

I thank you.