Report to the President by H.E. Dr. N. Hassan Wirajuda Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia At the Opening Session of the Regional Consultation on UN-System Wide Coherence Jakarta, 29 March 2007
Your Excellency President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Assalaamu’alaikum Wr. Wb.
I am pleased and honoured to report to you, Mr. President, on the preparations for the convening of the Regional Consultation on the United Nations System-wide Coherence, which will take place today and tomorrow. I also wish to report to you that the convening of this Consultation has been made possible with the support of the Norwegian Government, for which we in Indonesia are deeply grateful. Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, a Co-chair of the Panel on System-Wide Coherence, will deliver the keynote speech prior to the Consultation.
This meeting, which is attended by representatives of forty countries in Asia and the Pacific region, as well as United Nations bodies and agencies, is particularly important because it is the very first regional consultation after the Panel issued its report. In this regard, I am privileged to report to Your Excellency that the Report contains a set of recommendations on how to make the United Nations System work more coherently and effectively all over the world in the fields of development, humanitarian assistance and the environment.
This two-day consultation provides a unique opportunity for us in this region to get to know, understand and reflect on these recommendations. We will also exchange views and experiences on system-wide coherence and possible hurdles to UN coherence at country level. At the same time, countries, drawing from their experiences, can contribute to the strengthening of the UN’s work at country level. In this regard, Indonesia has a lot to share, particularly its experiences during the tsunami disaster in which many UN agencies were involved in extending a helping hand to the devastated communities.
There is no denying that the United Nations and its specialized agencies have much to offer to member nations in terms of expertise, knowledge, resources and practical experiences. But over the decades the System became ineffective due to policy incoherence, duplication of programmes and inadequate funding. These problems have severely diminished the UN’s effectiveness in delivering its programmes at country level.
Therefore, with this regional Consultation, we will also look into how we can help the UN system fulfill the mandate laid down by the outcome of the 2005 World Summit: that the management and coordination of United Nations operations in the field of the environment, humanitarian assistance and development should be further strengthened.
I am honoured to report to Your Excellency that we have speakers from the UN system at the level of Under Secretary General, representatives of pilot countries, and representatives of the World Bank. We also have representatives from the private sectors who, I am sure, will enrich the discussions. They will all discuss in detail a bold but realistic agenda for strengthening the UN System so that its various agencies could together “deliver as one” the assistance so necessary for countries to attain their Millennium Development Goals.
I wish to emphasize that there are particular UN agencies that are already doing a great job as promoters of development. Hence, reform of the UN to achieve System-wide coherence should not erode the mandates or the resources of these organizations that are already effective and are playing an important role in development. A good example is the UN contribution to Indonesia in UN involving an amount of US$ 400 million for the year 2006 alone, including US$98 million from the UNDP and US$11 million from the UNFPA, coursed through the UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF).
We, the member states of the United Nations must take responsibility for what becomes of the United Nations – whether it sinks into failure or rises to fulfill its potential and deliver on its promise. That is why we are here today: to help the United Nations become what it has always been meant to be: the chief instrument of humankind for the attainment of peace and the conquest of poverty and other vital developing goals.
With that note, I now have the honour to invite Your Excellency Mr. President to deliver your Opening Statement and to officially open the Regional Consultation.