STATEMENT BY THE CHAIR OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA/ PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF THE REPUBLIC OF INDONESIA TO THE UNITED NATIONS, WTO AND OTHER INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS IN GENEVA H.E. AMBASSADOR TRIYONO WIBOWO AT THE CHAIRMANSHIP HANDOVER CEREMONY OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA 17 JANUARY 2013

January 17, 2013 Economy, Development and Environment

STATEMENT BY

THE CHAIR OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA/

PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF THE REPUBLIC OF INDONESIA TO THE UNITED NATIONS, WTO AND OTHER INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS IN GENEVA

H.E. AMBASSADOR TRIYONO WIBOWO

 

AT THE CHAIRMANSHIP HANDOVER CEREMONY

OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA

17 JANUARY 2013

 

Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I wish to begin by thanking you all, the members of the Group of 77 and China, for your unwavering support and commitment toward the Group. Otherwise, our common cause to make the global economy work for everyone would not have reached the stage as it is now. Thanks to your firm solidarity and resolute dedication to our commitment, we have made the advances that marked 2012 as a success for the development diplomacy of developing countries.

I would also like to thank my good friend and the new Chair of the Group of 77 and China in Geneva, Ambassador Miguel Carbo Benites, as well as his team – most particularly Mr. Juan Carlos Sanchez-Troya, for their invaluable assistances as Vice Chair.

I should also like to thank our distinguished colleagues from Thailand for their stewardship of the Group as they undertook the challenging task of Chairing the Preparatory Committee of the Group of 77 and China for UNCTAD XIII. The skill, courage, and dedication with which they undertook that important responsibility, personified the finest traditions of the Group and was instrumental in the success of UNCTAD XIII. It also laid the foundation for the important work which lies before us including as we prepare to celebrate the twin jubilees, work towards the MDG review in 2015, and from there to UNCTAD XIV in 2016.

Let me also take this opportunity to extend my sincere thanks and appreciations to the Secretary General of UNCTAD, Dr. Supachai Panitchpakdi for the excellent support and commitment of UNCTAD towards the cause of development. As twins at birth, the Group looks up to UNCTAD as a bedrock upon which the efforts of developing countries to make the global economic system work for all, were laid upon.  I would therefore also like to thank and recognize Deputy Secretary General of UNCTAD, Ambassador Petko Draganov and Ms. Sahami for their excellent works and unrelenting supports toward our endeavors.

I would also like to thank the Executive Director of South Center, Mr. Martin Khor for the invaluable support and assistances toward the Group. Time and again it has proven itself to be not only an institution of commendable quality and dedication, but indeed a necessity for developing countries.

Special thanks and recognition should also be accorded to Mr. Miguel Bautista and his team – Zoraa Amijee, Yvette Fernandez, and of course Rima Kebbe, for their exemplary support to the Group as a whole, and to the Indonesian Chairmanship in particular. Their ardent works and commitment to the cause of development, are shining examples of why UNCTAD is – and will continue to be – special for developing countries.

 

Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

When we look back at 2012, we can see that it was a year of ups and downs. It was a year full of challenges, when the Group was tested, not only in the preparatory stages toward UNCTAD XIII, but also in the immediate work afterwards. Indeed, the period after Doha has been proven to be unexpectedly difficult. But the Group valiantly held its ground and stands with flying colors.

At such critical time, the Group drew ranks. Through its traditional solidarity, the Group was able to relentlessly pursue its objectives and boldly secured some gains. Through UNCTAD XIII, the Group prevailed to preserve the mandates that were hard-won in Accra. The Group also consolidated UNCTAD’s mandate to react quickly in addressing the needs and priorities of developing countries in today’s challenging global economic environment.

The Group also pursued confidently, and constructively, for ensuring an adequate preparations for the celebration of the 50th anniversary of UNCTAD, and the review of the Millennium Development Goals in 2015. The Group is thankful that, while indeed much remains to be done, our partners have acknowledged the importance of the 50th anniversary of UNCTAD, and the need for good preparations given the importance of the event.

Yet while we should celebrate the achievements, we should also recognize that under such critical momentum, the solidarity of the Group was at times also severely tested. Perhaps, this simply reflects the changes in the global economic landscape, following the emergence of the new world from the thaw of the cold bipolarity of the last decade, of the last century. However, in as much as it is natural, this is a very real challenge that we must confront and overcome, tactfully and realistically.

To cope along and to adjust to the changes, it is inevitable that the Group must also transform itself. It is impossible for the Group to be able to pace itself with the rapid changes, while retaining inertia to operate as it did in the past decades. It is definitely not sustainable, and we must devise ways to adapt to the new realities. Otherwise, the Group would sooner or later starts losing its ability to cope with the new global economic landscapes.

In light of that, through our chairmanship, Indonesia sought to contribute to the strengthening of the Group, within sights of various important opportunities that lie ahead. We continue to be optimistic, as we are working on a very robust foundation of development solidarity, that the spirit of ’64 that led to our establishment, shall drive us to where we should be in this new era.

Continuity of efforts, does matter. We therefore sought to put in place mechanisms to ensure continuity.  Our proudest achievement in this regard was the re-establishment of the Vice Chairmanship of the Group of 77 and China in Geneva.

This mechanism will be especially important given the need for continuity in the Group’s continued existence. While we indeed faced some tough challenges on the JIU report, but given our experience of the past year however, we must ensure that it no longer serves as a distraction to the substantive works ahead. The Group must stands its ground that while the strengthening of UNCTAD is important, we must also strive to ensure that management reform is not to be undertaken for its own sake, but in the larger context of supporting the substantive work of UNCTAD. It is not an issue of men, tools, and stones. It is an issue of complete art of masonry.

We must also ensure continuity in implementing the outcomes of Doha. The outcomes of UNCTAD XIII must be fully and faithfully implemented. This includes the various expert group meetings, as well as the preparations for the 50th anniversary of UNCTAD and the review of the MDGs, as part of UNCTAD’s mandate to contribute to the follow-up and implementation of the major UN conferences and summits on development.

In light of that, we therefore need to build on the work of previous chairs and continue a focused and sustained program of capacity building for our negotiators. Building on the work launched by the Cuban Chairmanship, we continued work on the Developedia, and we hope that it will be fully operational this year.

Our ministers also decided to initiate an annual course for G77 and China negotiators, of which I should like to thank all delegations, UNCTAD, UNITAR and South Center for their supports, that have made Indonesia possible to hold such course in November 2012.  We look towards the continued support and assistance of UNCTAD, the South Centre, and other entities under the United Nations framework such as UNITAR, to strengthen the group as a whole, as well as individual member countries seeking to build their own capacities.

In this regard, speaking as an Indonesian, I wish to express our appreciation to Dr. Supachai for UNCTAD’s assistance in capacity building for Indonesian diplomats, and we hope that similar activities will be conducted for other interested member countries of the Group of 77 and China.

As we look to the future, let us continue to work together to ensure the enduring solidarity and effectiveness of the Group.  We must work together to find mutually beneficial solutions. While it is natural and indeed expected that we will have differences among ourselves, let us work together to resolve these internally in a most graceful manner.

 

Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

A key landmark of our half-century endeavors is the 50th anniversary of both G 77 and UNCTAD.  G-77 and China has submitted its concept paper to the TDB for the 50th Anniversary of UNCTAD. We should continue encouraging our development partners to constructively and fully engage in the implementation of the idea, especially in contributing to related processes including the review of the MDGs in 2015 and the formulation of post 2015-development agenda.

Of equal importance is the 50th anniversary of our Group which was also addressed during the Ministerial Meeting in Doha in April 2012. In this respect, Indonesia firmly believes that the Group’s Golden Jubilee must be inaugurated with a monumental work that befits and reflects its historical importance. Indonesia views that such commemorative celebration should not only be ceremonial in nature. Instead, it should be a long lasting one. It must be able to serve as a historical beacon, calling for future generations to continue the Group’s solemn devotion and relentless endeavors in advancing the cause of development.

Departing from such spirit, Indonesia envisages the importance for the Group to produce and launch its Golden Jubilee Publications as a milestone of its 50th Anniversary. In that Publications, the Group may retrospectively reflects its 50 years of achievements, successes, challenges, failures and near-misses, while prospectively aiming toward its next steps for the future. On that note, Indonesia has circulated a concept paper on how we can implement the initiative. I fervently hope that the paper will provoke constructive engagement leading to tangible initiatives. As the clock keeps ticking towards the historical day of the Jubilee, we are now being called upon to invest our time and energy more than ever, for designing the roadmap towards the monumental event. To this end, Indonesia, through the concept paper offers a tentative time table to be further considered. It is also in this respect that I should like to emphasize my full confidence in the incoming chair’s superb ability, to charge forward in advancing our common ambition.

Parallel to that, I also wish to underscore that while we appreciate the efforts of UNCTAD and our other institutional partners, we as a Group need to be more forthcoming with regard to ensuring the sustainability of our efforts. I am confident that the incoming Chair of the Group shares a similar view and that over the next few months we will together, find ways and means to place the accomplishment of our objectives on a more sustainable footing.

I wish to close these remarks by once again thanking you all, and by assuring my successor of our full and steadfast support for what we are confident to be an exemplary chairmanship.

 

Geneva, 17 January 2013