United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development


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Preparatory Meeting of
Commission on Sustainable
Development - 17
3rd meeting
Intervention by
Ambassador Adiyatwidi Adiwoso Asmady
Deputy Permanent Representative of The Republic of
Indonesia to the United Nations
At the Intergovernmental Preparatory Meeting of the
Commission for Sustainable Development -17
On Agriculture
New York, 24 February 2009
Madame Chair,
Since this is the first time my delegation is taking the floor for this session,
allow me to congratulate you and other bureau members on assuming the
Chair for CSD 17. We are confident that under your guidance and
leadership, CSD-17 will achieve a successful outcome.
Indonesia would like to associate itself fully with the statement made by
Sudan on behalf of the G77 and China. I should also like to take this
opportunity to thank the Secretary General for providing a valuable report
on developments in agriculture which, along with the panelist?s
presentations, will be helpful for our deliberations.
Madame Chair,
Over the last two decades the global food and agriculture economy has
changed tremendously. I recall the Secretary General?s allusion to this in
his report, where reference was made to the world?s growing urban
population, expanding per capita income, changing lifestyles, maturing
agribusiness markets, and the increasingly influential role of technology.
These have not just altered consumption patterns but also the production
and distribution of our food and agricultural products.
The paradox of today?s global food and agriculture economy is that while
we are producing more food than ever, food insecurity is increasing. It is
estimated that 848 million people go to bed hungry every night, with more
than 963 million undernourished and 1.4 billion people living below the
poverty line. Moreover, the irony is that many, if not the majority, of those
living in hunger and poverty are people in rural areas in developing
countries involved in farming.
The nature of today?s global food and agriculture economy has
marginalized agriculture sector of developing countries. While agriculture
in advanced economies has progressed and flourished under a robust
subsidies regime, agriculture in developing countries is characterized by a
large number of smallholder resource-poor farmers, whose situation has
been deteriorating over the last decade. Agriculture in developing
countries has been deprived of adequate investments is burdened by poor
infrastructure, land degradation, limited access to markets, and pressure
from urbanization.
Madame Chair,
The recent food crisis has shown that the current global food and
agriculture economy needs to be reformed. Such reform must take into
account the impact of climate change and ensure sustainable agricultural
The reform must also establish a global framework to help developing
countries revitalize their agricultural sectors. This is important for the
attainment of global food security.
In this context there are five areas we would like to highlight as being
important for reform of the global agricultural sector.
First, there is a need to ensure that there are better synergies between
agriculture and development policies and strategies. For this to happen,
national governments must take charge, prioritizing and mainstreaming
agriculture into their national development policies. Central to this is
ensuring enhanced cooperation and involvement of all stakeholders in the
design and implementation of agricultural policies and strategies. It may
also be desirable to enhance legal empowerment to smallholder farmers, in
particular by enhancing their property and business rights. At the same
time, at international level, there must be better synergies between
development support for agriculture and overall development objectives.
Second, Regional Food Security Framework that can boost regional food
stocks and production should be established. This should cover at least six
elements namely sustainable food production, conducive food market and
food trade, food reserves for emergency relief, a surveillance system to
prevent food crises, diversification of food resources and food industry
Third, public and private sector investment in agriculture, particularly in
rural infrastructure in developing countries must be increased. This could
be achieved through a combination of national budgetary allocations and
private investments. Also important in this context is the role of ODA, in
which its share to agriculture should be increased.
Fourth, fundamental reform in world agriculture trade needs to be
expedited. Currently, cheap and subsidized imports from advanced
countries are hampering developing countries? farmers to access their own
domestic markets. At the same time, access to international markets for
developing countries farmers are impede by tariff peaks and escalations, as
well as overly strict SPS standards, implemented by many developed
countries. Eliminating imbalances and the development of adequate
agricultural safeguard mechanisms for developing countries are central to
achieving fundamental trade reform.
Finally, we believe the establishment of an active global partnership for
agricultural development and food security can contribute to revitalizing
developing countries? agricultural sectors. A global partnership that can act
as a ?melting pot?, where the interests of all stakeholders interact, linking
and matching the needs of one stakeholder to another, that aims to
facilitate the development of agriculture in developing countries.
In closing Madame Chair, the challenges facing the global food and
agriculture economy are great. There is a need for us to embark on a new
green revolution that would not only enable us to overcome hunger and
malnutrition, but to do so in a way that supports the three pillars of
sustainable development. Indonesia is confident that this is achievable. Our
own experience in revitalizing agriculture and rural development has
allowed us to achieve self-sufficiency of our staple food. These small steps
taken by many countries can bring us closer to the goal of achieving food
security for all.
Thank you.