Soesilo Makes Pitch For Indonesian To Lead FAO

26 April, 2011 | Source: The Jakarta Post

Coordinating Public Welfare Minister Agung Laksono recently returned from Rome where he bolstered support for Indroyono Soesilo, Indonesia’s candidate to replace the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) outgoing leader.

Soesilo and candidates from Austria, Brazil, Iran, Iraq and Spain made 15-minute presentations to delegates from more than 190 member countries at four-day 141st FAO Council Meeting which ended Friday.

“I shared with the delegates Indonesia’s experiences in developing its agricultural sector to
eliminate hunger and alleviate poverty, which is also the main mission of the FAO,” Soesilo said in Jakarta after his return from Rome.

The Indonesian government nominated Soesilo, currently secretary of the Office of the Coordinating Public Welfare Minister, to replace Jacques Diouf of Senegal, who has led the organization for 18 years, when the council reconvenes in June to elect a new FAO director general.

His candidacy, which was first announced in June 2010, was immediately supported by ASEAN’s nine other member nations.

Soesilo, who obtained a doctorate in geologic remote sensing from the University of Iowa in 1987, was in charge of research, exploration and remote sensing for the Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry for more than eight years.

In his present position Soesilo is responsible for coordinating 17 ministries and agencies that manage issues related to sustainable development, poverty alleviation, education and agriculture.

Laksono, who hosted a reception in Rome on Friday to bolster support for Soesilo’s candidacy,
said Indonesia was willing to share its experience with other FAO members to fight hunger and

“I also stressed the need for the FAO to undergo comprehensive reform to make the organization more capable, effective, transparent and more decentralized in coping new global challenges in food security, agriculture and other natural resource development,” Laksono said.

Soesilo added that Indonesia, as a member of the FAO since 1949, believed comprehensive reform was crucial for improving its organizational and institutional capacity to aid its 191 member countries.

As a vast archipelago, Indonesia also appreciated the FAO’s initiative to include marine resources management as one of its strategic objectives, particularly as related to the sustainable management and use of fisheries and aquaculture resources, Soesilo said.

Indonesia, he added, felt it imperative that the FAO to make the best use of its experience and vast network to help member countries overcome poverty.

Soesilo said there was an urgent need for the FAO leadership in Rome to have strong managerial and financial proficiency to mobilize resources from more advanced member countries.


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