“LEAVING POVERTY BEHIND, PROMOTING SUSTAINABLE GROWTH WITH EQUITY THROUGH ENHANCED GLOBAL PARTNERSHIP:TOWARDS THE NEW DEVELOPMENT AGENDA FOR THE POST-2015”AT THE OPENING OF REGIONAL MEETING AND STAKEHOLDER CONSULTATION ON THE POST-2015 DEVELOPMENT AGENDA BALI, 13 DESEMBER 2012
Bismillahirrahmanirrahim,Assalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh.May peace be upon us all, Om Swastiastu, Your Excellency Dr. Kuntoro Mangkusubroto, Chairman the Indonesian National Committee on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, Your Excellency Mr. Ajay Chhibber [:a-jai ci-ber], Director of UNDP’s Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific, Excellencies, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen. On behalf of the Government and people of Indonesia, I am pleased to extend a very warm welcome to all of you to Bali. I commend the Indonesian National Committee on the Post-2015 Development Agenda for convening this regional consultation, here in Bali. The island of Bali is known in Indonesia as the island of the God. Bali has a very unique history and culture, and as you can see all around you, the Balinese are very creative and artistic. Bali aspires to be the “convention capital” of the world, and rightly so. The magic of this island has inspired the work of a number of international gatherings : the Bali Democracy Forum; the historic UN Climate Conference in 2007; the ASEAN Summit meetings last year; and next year Bali will be the host of the APEC Economic Leaders Meeting. And surely there will be many more conferences to come.
We are gathered here to contribute to one of the most—if not THE most—important global efforts of our time: to help chart a path of progress for humanity in the 21st century. We do not have a fancy title for it yet. For now, we simply call it “the Post-2015 Development Agenda”. This process will involve massive efforts worldwide—requiring extensive data collection, lengthy consultations with all sorts of stake-holders, constructive debates, and a myriad of analysis and projections. The result of this work will determine whether in the coming decades, the world’s seven billion people—and counting—will march together towards a world of greater peace, progress and prosperity. On the other hand it will also determine whether we will instead fall into the trap of rising inequity, conflict and desperation. It will determine whether the community of nations can, once again, work together to design and achieve a new set of development targets; or lose the valuable momentum thus far achieved. And it will decisively determine whether, in a world full of uncertainties and emerging vulnerabi-lities, our collective future will be better than the past and present. As we chart our way into the future, I believe that we have much to be hopeful for.
Since the year 2000, the community of nations has embarked on a great project : the Millennium Development Goals. The MDGs are rare and historic because the world community had never before agreed to a set of global development targets with a specific time frame. The MDGs are unique because it was not imposed by one country or group of countries on others: they are voluntary objectives, designed by all nations, agreed by all, for the good of all. Countries—large, medium and small—take part in the MDGs as mutual stake holders. The MDGs are also relevant because it is a global agenda which is free from ideological contests. The MDGs are all about identifying the critical issues hampering national development and worsening poverty. The MDGs is about setting ambitious yet realistic targets for all nations to achieve. They provide useful framework for both developed and developing countries to work together. The MDGs do not call on Governments to pontificate on others. Instead they do provide a way to measure progress in reaching the targets, and, where possible, find a way to help those who may fall behind.
The MDGs are by no means a perfect international instrument for development. Nor is it an international treaty, and therefore is non-binding. It does not require ratification by national parliaments. There is no organization specifically tasked to implement, oversee and monitor the MDGs. MDGs implementation is left mostly to national Governments. Nonetheless, the MDGs have served as important rallying platform and reference points for Governments around the world. For the first time, there was a common aspirational as well as opera-tional targets for all nations to pursue. This is certainly true in Indonesia, where the MDGs have become an important reference for us in designing our national development strategy. In recent years, we have made sure that our development programs are consistent and compatible with MDG targets. For example, since 1990, Indonesia has been able to reduce the number of people living in poverty, from 20.6 percent in 1990 to 11.9 percent in 2012. We have achieved primary universal education for children, and in fact, we have a compulsory of 9 years primary and secondary education. Infant mortality has been reduced from 68 per 1,000 births in 1991, to 34 in 2007.Despite the success of many countries to reach MDGs, overall, the goal to eradicate poverty remains a serious challenge. And today, the location of poverty is shifting. A Brookings Institute research shows that in 1990, 80 percent of the people living in poverty were located in stable low income countries. Today, this number declines to 10 percent. Somewhat this is an encouraging development. Yet, at the same time, other categories of countries are confronted by increased poverty. The research also shows that 49 percent of people living in poverty are now located in stable middle income countries, and 41 percent in fragile states.
Ladies and gentlemen, Poverty is indeed a complex and multi-dimensional issue. Hence, we need a comprehensive approach to address it, because it is connected with so many factors, from population growth to natural disasters. On population factor, our success in tackling poverty depends on our success in managing our population growth. The global population has increased by 2 billion in less than three decades, surpassing 7 billion last year. Another 2 billion is estimated to add to this mark by 2050. Such a scale of population growth will impact on our ability to provide food, energy and other basic services. It is therefore crucial that we prioritize on our capacity to mitigate the impact of the increasing scarcity of resources. This is another critical factor contributing to poverty. The depletion of our natural resources has been aggravated by the global warming and climate change. The impacts of climate change could be tremendous on agriculture-based economy. It could reduce yields of crop and fish farming, and eventually it can lead to starvation. Natural disaster is another factor contributing to poverty. For countries that are prone to natural disasters like Indonesia, addressing poverty becomes especially challenging. Natural disasters can back pedal development achievements. They are able to cause huge material damages, and claim a high toll on human lives. Thus, natural disasters could push millions of people back into poverty. I am glad that there is a common view on the importance to incorporate natural disasters in development agenda. It is important to win back the MDGs gains, from the setbacks caused by natural disasters and climate change.
Poverty is worsened by intra-state and inter-state conflicts. Our success in resolving conflicts will create a conducive environment to implement programs to alleviate poverty. Violence breeds poverty. Thus we must not tolerate violence. Governments and all the stakeholders must work to create a lasting solution to today’s conflict : civil war, ethnic conflict, and organized crime. When we escape from this violence-trap, we also stand a better chance to escape the poverty-trap. Indeed the nature of poverty is multi-faceted and triggered by many factors. Therefore, I believe that poverty eradication should be a far-reaching and continuous effort. This is why Indonesia continues to work hard to overcome poverty. This is also why we have launched a Master Plan for Expediting Poverty Eradication (MP3K). With this master plan, we aim to reach less than 6 percent poverty level by 2025.Each country surely has its own strategy to overcome poverty. Indonesia too has some thoughts on how best to eradicate poverty. Let me now share these with you. First, poverty eradication is a major cross-cutting issue in the government’s overall strategy for sustainable development. Thus, all development programs must be made consistent toward eradicating poverty.
Second, the poor should be given access to decent jobs and economic opportunities. The objective should be to promote inclusive growth among others through financial inclusion. Third, it is critical to provide the poor with accessible and affordable basic needs. These include nutrition, health, education, housing, clean water and sanitation. Fourth, it is essential to create an enabling environment in the form of economic and financial stability. By doing so, we make the necessary condition to pursue the development agenda. Fifth, it is important to provide social safety net to the people living below the poverty line. This is one of the keys to absorb economic shocks that could badly harm our people. This scheme includes the development of food security, social protection, health, education, employment, and community empowerment. And, sixth, any effort to eradicate individual and household poverty must be supported by sound national policies and strengthened by global partnership.
Ladies and gentlemen, The MDGs will expire in 2015. And I have been privileged to co-chair the High Level Panel of Eminent Persons for a Post-2015 Development Agenda together with British Prime Minister David Cameron and Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. The Panel which was formed by the UN Secretary General, has had two productive meetings – in New York and in London. We plan to have our first submission of our work to the UN Secretary-General, by the second quarter of 2013. Now, I wish to share Indonesia’s vision on the Post-2015 Development Agenda. I have raised them in various occasions, including in the past two meetings of the Panel. First, I believe that the Agenda should consider the MDGs achievements review and the outcome document of Rio+20 Conference: the much anticipated Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs). While incorporating the MDGs achievements, the Agenda should also define new goals and targets.
Second, since poverty is the main objective of the Agenda, I believe that we must listen to the aspirations of the poor, and address their needs. This represents the essence of inclusive participation in the work of the Panel. Third, the Agenda’s framework should include the inseparable dimensions of economic growth, social inclusion and environmental sustainability. It should define the right and optimal balance between these dimensions. In this light, poverty eradication should capture sustainable development issues. We should not transgress the biophysical limits of human development. Fourth, I believe that inclusive growth should form an important conceptual part of the agenda. It should define what drives and enables poverty reduction. I hold the view that the word ‘inclusive’ is imperative. Without it, growth will be twisted as an end in itself, and we continue to face the problem of global inequality.
According to a UN report, today the top 20 percent of the global population enjoys more than 70 percent of global income. Inequality reduces the efficiency of economic growth. It generates social problems and political instability. Hence, sustainable growth with equity is the key principle for poverty eradication. And fifth, partnership at all levels is critical. A successful development agenda is only possible through partnership between and within countries, and with various stakeholders. Business sector, civil society, and the academia need to work together. They need to listen, analyze and act on the aspiration and wisdom of the community at large. This is why this forum today becomes so important. This partnership should be reflected in every stage of development. Such partnership would imply a mechanism to make sure that resources are obtained, developed and used at best, and for their intended purposes. Against this particular backdrop, accountability and transparency mechanisms should be promoted and put in place. As we shape the Agenda, what is unique about our region is diversity. We have economies of different sizes and levels of development. We have a variety of political systems, and different development models. We have diverse cultural and social conditions. And each of us has our own local particularities in relation to the MDGs. All this only serve to enrich our inputs to shape the Post-2015 Development Agenda. As a final note, your task at this forum, therefore, is to ask relevant questions. How far have we come and what are the lessons learned? What are the remaining challenges? What more can be done? Where did we falter and where did we do well ? What are the new development issues ?I have every confidence that your discussion will enrich the Agenda. On my part, I have been encouraged by the quality of the discussions of the Panel. I have also been struck by the optimism and energy when discussing the Agenda in many meetings with world leaders, politicians, experts, NGOs, activists, business community and others. I know such feeling is also shared by the stake-holders in today's regional meeting.And now, by saying, Bismillahirrahmanirrahim, I declare this regional meeting and stake-holders consultation officially open.I thank you.
AT THE OPENING OF REGIONAL MEETING AND STAKEHOLDER CONSULTATION ON THE POST-2015 DEVELOPMENT AGENDA BALI, 13 DESEMBER 2012
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