STATEMENT BY H.E. DR. SUSILO BAMBANG YUDHOYONO, PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF INDONESIA UNITED NATIONS CONFERENCE ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT (RIO+20 SUMMIT) PLENARY SESSION RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL, 20-22 JUNE 2012
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H.E. DR. SUSILO BAMBANG YUDHOYONO,
PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF INDONESIA
UNITED NATIONS CONFERENCE ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL, 20-22 JUNE 2012
[10:10 – 13:00]
Excellencies the Head of States, Head of Governments and Heads of Delegation of the United Nations Member Countries and Observers,
Representatives of the Major Groups,
First of all, let me begin by joining other leaders in expressing our warm gratitude to Madame President and the Brazilian Government for the excellent preparations for this historic conference.
The Indonesian people, and peoples all over the world, have much to expect from our work here. We must not let them down. Rio plus 20 must be remembered as an occasion when we elevated our commitments to sustainable development.
Like other nations represented here, Indonesia also faces on-going dilemmas, challenges and debates when it comes to our development and environmental policies. However, in grappling with these issues, while also advancing our own national development agenda, we are always determined to contribute to global cause.
In the year 2009, Indonesia was concerned to see global climate negotiations facing a deadlock. In the midst of that stalemate, Indonesia made the momentous announcement that we would reduce our emission by 26% by 2020, and by 41% with international help – the so called 26-41 formula.
In May last year, we made yet another critical decision. We decided to enact a moratorium on new exploitation licenses for primary forests and peat lands of all types. This was a major decision for a country which is blessed with one of the world’s largest tracks of tropical rain forests.
in 2007, in order to avoid the degradation of coral reefs in eastern part of Indonesia, we Lauched the Coral Reefs Triangle Initiative on Food Security and Fisheries (CTI). This covered a large marine space and ecosystem with incredibly rich biodiversity - known as the Amazon of the Seas. The Livelihood of some 360 million people on 6 nations are depended on it.
I am pleased that the CTI is now progressing well, driven by Indonesia, Malaysia, The Phillipines, Timor Leste, and Papua New Guinea. It is an important project to promote our blue economy.
In those instances, we acted out of a sense of commitment to public good, national interests and global responsibility. These cases demonstrate that Indonesia is never shy when doing the right thing.
The world today needs plenty of “do the right thing”. And the choices are not so easy.
Looking at the global landscape, anyone can see the glass as half full - OR half empty.
But for all of us in this room, we do not have that luxury to see the glass as half empty. The world looks to us to find solutions which they may benefit from. Our job here is to find an answer in every problem, not find a problem in every answer.
I am a firm believer that in every problem, in every crisis, there is opportunity.
I believe the myriad of economic, social and environmental challenges that the world community faces today are opportunities waiting to happen.
The climate problem is indeed serious, but it is forcing us to seize opportunities to follow a low carbon development path.
The energy shortage is a heavy burden, but it is giving us the perfect logic to start moving away from our addiction to fossil fuel and move towards renewable energy.
In all these, the key is to listen to the people. And, where need be, to listen to nature. We now live in an interesting era. A time of great possibilities.
This is a time where we can break the lingering myths about development and environment.
We can break the myth that development will inevitably lead to deforestation. We can break the myth that development will automatically increase emission. We can break the myth that development will cause inequality. We can break the myth that we can only choose between development and democracy – and we cannot have both.
And we can break the myth that it takes generations to transform a nation. Indeed, there are plenty of empirical cases where societies are transformed within the span of only one generation.
One of the great challenges of our time is to eradicate poverty. Conventional wisdom has it that to break poverty, we need growth and expand the economic pie. But growth alone is not the answer. Some growth can marginalize others. Some growth can be oppressive and stunt the development of some. Which is why we need “growth with equity”.
In Indonesia, we have been pursuing “growth with equity” with good results. But overtime, I have become convinced that even “growth with equity” alone is not enough. We need “sustainable growth with equity”. This means the kind of growth that will spread the benefits of prosperity across the population, and in ways that will ensure environ-mental continuity.
This is why in my second term as President, I amended my development strategy to become “pro-growth”, “pro-job”, “pro-poor”, and more recently, “pro-environment”. We have now placed the environmental concern at the heart of all our development planning.
The world that we face in the 21st century will be radically different from that of the 20th century. World population will grow between 9 to 10 billion. Emerging powers will reshape the international system. Mega-cities, now standing at around 21, will multiply. The middle-class will grow phenomenally. The whole world will be wired. Connectivity will spread. And there will an explosion of opportunities, as well as innovations.
To survive that world, to master that world, we will need plenty of imagination.
And we will need plenty of courage to change and adapt in order to avoid the great paradox of our time.
What is that paradox ? It is this.
At a time when leadership is called for, we fail to act.
At a time of great connectivity, we become more alienated from one another.
At a time when opportunities multiply, we are afraid to take risks.
At a time the walls of the world are crumbling, we become inward-looking.
At a time when major breakthroughs are needed, we bicker with details.
At a time when we need a grand vision, we think small.
And at a time when the future awaits us, we remain stuck in the past.
Let it be known that here in Rio, leaders once again gather and reaffirm their resolve to rebuild the world anew.
Let it be known that here in Rio, the world made a giant leap towards a world of sustainable growth with equity. Insya Allah.
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