SPEECH BY PRESIDENT SUSILO BAMBANG YUDHOYONO PRESIDENT REPUBLIC OF INDONESIA AT THE GENERAL DEBATE OF THE 69TH SESSION OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY

30 , 2014

Bismillahirahmanirrahim, Madam President, Let me begin by congratulating you on your assumption of the presidency of the 69th session. It is a great honor for me to stand once again before this august body—the last time that I do so during my two terms as President of Indonesia.

I could not agree more with the chosen theme of this session : “Delivering and Implementing a Transformative Post-2015 Development Agenda”. The theme which is very much in line with work of the High-level Panel, I was privileged to co-chair.

In the past 15 years, the international community has embarked on an ambitious grand project for humanity : the Millennium Development Goals.

Our hard work over the years have produced achievements which include breakthroughs in combating poverty, increasing school enrollment, and improving public health. These achievements are encouraging, and in some instances, inspiring.

But humanity as a whole have NOT achieved ALL the MDG targets. Successes are uneven : they differ between regions, they differ within regions, and they even differ within countries.

We have come a long way, yet we still have a long way to go.
For those who made it, and those who are yet to make it, I learn one best lesson : the most important driver of change lies in

GOVERNANCE -- not just good governance, but SMART governance.

Smart governance usually involves innovative leadership and active public participation. Without at least these two elements, all the hard work we put in will not produce desired results.

And with smart governance, nations can go beyond their potentials and leap frog over others ahead of them. In Indonesia, beyond our wildest imagination, we have managed to increase our national income per capita by 400 percent within just a short decade.

The quest for MDGs over last 15 years have also reinforced the need for a more robust global partnership. There were certainly plenty of actions. But somehow our work in the World Trade Organization, in the post-Kyoto climate, in reforming the global financial architecture, in reforming the United Nations, and many others have proved to be painstakingly slow.

As we set forth a new global agenda for development, I believe we can draw on years of trial and error to become more acutely aware of the promise and pitfalls of development -- of what we want and what we do not want.

We do not want development that measures progress in terms of material provisions alone, and end up dehumanizing and marginalizing our citizens. What we want is sustainable development with equity.

Yet, the importance of our work lies beyond the issue of development, as we are now also confronted with yet another major problem. We are witnessing a worrying deterioration in the relations between the major powers. None of us, certainly not the United Nations, can afford to bury our head in the sand about this grim development.

This is a worrying, as that for over two decades since the fall of the Berlin Wall, the world has actually witnessed a series of promising turn of events. Most fundamental is the fact that improved relations among major powers had created ample space for new strategic and economic opportunities.

Thus global trade reached 23 trillion US dollars, for an almost six-fold growth since a year after the end of the Cold War in 1990. The fastest growth was during the period that coincides with the pursuit of the MDGs, from 2000 to 2013, which was 1.5 times as fast as the preceding two decades.

As to global investments, the value reached almost 1.5 trillion in 2013 for a near seven-fold growth since 1990.

In Southeast Asia, this positive geopolitical development has allowed us to develop stronger cooperation and evolve the region′′s architecture. It led to the establishment of East Asia Summit, a vision for the ASEAN Community, a progressive ASEAN Charter, a more active ASEAN Regional Forum and others. Indonesia too was able to develop strategic partnerships with all the major powers as well as with many emerging powers.

Madam President,
I observe that today the international community is concerned about the danger of the old Cold War returning to our fold. Major power relations are worsening, fueled by mutual suspicions. Relations that were previously stable and cooperative are now marked with volatility and tension. And this benefits no one. Therefore, we should not let this become permanent.

The major powers, and certainly all of us, have an obligation to work together to resolve the major issues of our time. Just to mention a few, we need to end the suffering of the Palestinians in Gaza and the rest of the occupied territory, and to deliver the still elusive two-state solution. We need to resolve the conflict in Ukraine that is now shaking relations between Russia and the West. And we need to find an effective and durable solution to the on-going conflicts in Syria and Iraq.

To do all this, there must be mutual accommodation. There must be a forward looking attitude that embraces a win-win predisposition over zero-sum attitude. Diplomacy must take precedence. Trust deficit must be turned into strategic opportunities and confidence building.

And it is not enough just to call for peaceful co-existence. That is so 20th century. Here in the 21st century, we need much more than a conditions where world powers merely peacefully co-exist : we need them to work passionately together to foster strategic cooperation to tackle global issues.

They must begin to turn trust deficit into a new strategic trust, not just between them but also with the emerging powers and with all nations of the United Nations. Is it possible ? I would say, yes. A resolute yes. For this is what has transpired in Southeast Asia.

In the second half of the 1960′′s, Southeast Asian nations were poor, divided, insecure, threatened by a war raging in their neighborhood, and ignorant of one another—after centuries of separation during the colonial past.

The establishment of the Association of Southeast Asian Nation—ASEAN—has enabled countries in the region to form the habits of dialogue and consultation with one another, and learn to trust one another.

Today, we can proudly say that the once divided 10 Southeast Asian nations now belong to the ASEAN 10. Together, they are all drivers of regional affairs, and masters of their own destiny. A number of sensitive inter-state and intra-state conflicts were peacefully resolved -- those that remain are being addressed through dialogue and negotiations. And economic interdependence has become the norm of the day.

Moreover, Southeast Asia is on the verge of becoming a true Community. And we regard this as the apex of strategic trust, which we believe can be replicated everywhere.

The culture of peace and co-existence that we are trying to attain in Indonesia and in the ASEAN region is definitely the antidote to the poison of fundamentalist prejudice and deep intolerance, as practiced by a terrorist group in Iraq and Syria that falsely styles itself as the Islamic State. The ideology of ISIS not only betrays the true teaching of Islam as a religion of peace, it also harms and seriously upsets the Islamic ummah throughout the world.

Madam President,
It has been a great privilege to forge closer bonds between Indonesia and all the nations represented in this great assembly of the United Nations.

As I look back, I must admit that there remain many challenges that Indonesia has to resolve. And some of our efforts are already on the right track.

In a world desperately grappling with climate change, we are progressively and boldly applying a moratorium on deforestation -- our important contribution of reducing carbon emission.

In a world of economic uncertainty, we have increased our national income per capita by 400 percent within just a short decade.
In a world witnessing rising extremism, Indonesia continues to hold firm to the values of freedom, tolerance, moderation and multiculturalism that form the basis of our nationhood.

In a world still burdened by insurgencies, we have managed to find a permanent peaceful political solution to end the 30-year conflict in the Aceh province.

In a world marked by turbulent transitions in the Middle-East, we have shown time and again to our people and to the world that in Indonesia, democracy, Islam, modernity and human rights go together.

In a world often stigmatized by the past, Indonesia has opened a whole new chapter of peaceful relations with Timor-Leste, based on equality and mutual respect.

And in a world where territorial disputes often erupt into open conflicts, Indonesia has continued to peacefully resolve, one by one, overlapping maritime borders -- with Vietnam, with The Philippines, with Singapore, and others.

Madam President,
The Indonesian experience, and Southeast Asia′′s experience, underscore the dawn of a new age of globalism for the 21st century. A world which openly embraces change as opposed to being intimidated by it.

What the world so desperately needs today is the pioneering spirit: the boldness to break old boundaries and create new frontiers. Given this spirit, I believe humankind can overcome the challenge of climate change, conquer poverty and eradicate social injustice, hasten the global economic recovery, and create a culture of peace among all faiths, including the Abrahamic faiths. And with this spirit, we can hopefully end the cycle of violence, hatred, fear and humiliation that has made so many conflicts around the world seem intractable for decades and centuries.

In saying this, I am neither a Utopian nor a blind idealist in understanding international relations. But I do believe that with strong commitment and political will, we can make the impossible possible. As we say in Indonesia, "dimana ada kemauan, di situ ada jalan". Where there is a will, there is a way.

We must push the frontiers of nationalism into a new globalism—where we can devise solutions to national, regional and global issues, all at the same time. A new globalism where no nation is left behind and no nation dominates. Where rights are protected and responsibilities are met. In a world of new globalism, wars are unthinkable.

In the first place, wars are fought because nations play the zero-sum game—where winners take all and losers weep. The game of “us” against “them.” Where “us” must win and “them” must lose. And winners today are losers tomorrow.

Let me conclude by saying that now is the time for all of us to get into the serious business of building a new world of peace, prosperity and justice. The business of making everybody a winner. By creating and nurturing the New WE. The all-inclusive New We. The New We that leaves no one behind.

I thank you.

 

 

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