H.E. Mr. Hassan Wirajuda, Minister for Foreign Affairs
27 September 2008
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HASSAN WIRAJUDA, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Indonesia, said much discussed “Green Revolution” must embrace the entire developing world. Democracy meant nothing if part of humankind was well fed but a larger part went to bed hungry every night. Indeed, equality was a mirage in any country where half the population struggled against obesity and the other half wondered where its next meal was coming from.
The Food and Agriculture Organization had warned that food prices would remain high for the next three to five years. Food riots had already erupted in parts of the world. The problem of global food insecurity must be addressed vigorously because it was putting peace at risk in the developing world and in pockets of poverty in the developed world.
Continuing, he said it was not easy to feed a population of some 230 million in Indonesia, but there had been no food riots there. Exportable surpluses in rice production had been achieved by providing farmers with micro-financing, better seeds, inexpensive technology and affordable fertilizers. Addressing the problem of food insecurity at the global level required the active engagement of all peoples and States and, to that end, the General Assembly must take concrete steps.
First, he said, the World Bank and the United Nations must develop mechanisms to help national Governments spend more on agriculture and on rural infrastructures to empower small farmers. Next, United Nations bodies must link with regional mechanisms to develop measures such as common food reserves and early warning systems on regional food crises. Finally, a framework for a global partnership on food security must be established. For example, the World Trade Organization’s Doha development round of negotiations must support increased food production, and the Monterey Consensus on development financing must support opportunities to fund the Green Revolution.
Further, he said that, because agriculture did not always lead to sufficient harvests, there should not be a rush to produce biofuels at the price of reducing food supplies. The energy crisis could be addressed by alternative means in ways that also helped mitigate climate change. The Bali Road Map adopted last December leading to Copenhagen in 2009 –- and through Poznań at the end of the year -- would allow for an ambitious post-2012 global climate regime to be produced by 2009.
Finally, he said that, even as the challenge of global warming was addressed, the reality of a global chill in the “politico-security” field must be faced, along with the possibility of a new arms race. The Security Council had failed to resolve recent cases involving infringement of the principle of territorial integrity and of the political independence of States. External interventions that had led to secessions had involved major Powers.
Those cases must not set a dangerous precedent that would make developing countries extremely vulnerable in their nation-building, he continued. And since true democracy was always home-grown and not imposed from the outside, the Bali Democracy Forum would be launched in December as an inclusive and open forum for the countries of Asia to share experiences and best practices in fostering democracy.