Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, center, called for a strengthening of the partnership between Indonesia and the United Nations on Thursday (01/02). (JG Photo/Sheany)

Foreign Minister Calls for Stronger Indonesia-UN Cooperation on National Development


FEBRUARY 01, 2018

Jakarta. Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi has called for a strengthening of the partnership between Indonesia and the United Nations by aligning UN country programs with national development plans.

"Indonesia-United Nations cooperation has no other alternative but move forward and begin to address challenges through concrete actions and measures," Retno said in her opening address at the third Indonesia-United Nations Consultative Forum (IUNCF) in Jakarta on Thursday (01/02).

The minister highlighted the need to strengthen existing mechanisms and further align UN country programs with Indonesia's national development plan. She also touched on several aspects the IUNCF could focus on in the future to bolster the partnership.

This includes improving coordination and consultation and paving the way for well-targeted and effective programs.

"In order to be well-targeted and more effective, all UN programs and activities should be based on national development priorities, and targeted to help Indonesia achieve its sustainable development goals," Retno said. She added that a joint review will be central to this to measure progress and identify ways for improvement.

Anita Nirody, the UN resident coordinator in Indonesia, said in her speech that many of the challenges facing the world today, including poverty, inequality and growing threats from climate change and terrorism, emphasize the need for multilateralism.

"As these challenges transcend national borders, it is becoming increasingly clear that [to address] global problems … the need for multilateralism is stronger now than ever before," Nirody said.

The IUNCF was established in 2013 and has served to facilitate coordination and engagement between Indonesian ministries and other governmental institutions with UN agencies in Indonesia, as part of an effort to strengthen partnership between the government and the intergovernmental organization.

Febrian A. Ruddyard, director of multilateral cooperation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said there are two working groups within the IUNCF – one focused on information sharing and cooperation development, and the other on administration.

In her speech, Retno addressed the importance of strengthening the legal basis for existing and future cooperation. She also pointed to pending host country agreements with UN agencies.

"As far as I know, not all UN agencies that operate in Indonesia have completed their host country agreements. I therefore encourage those who have yet to complete this, to finalize it," Retno said, emphasizing that this would provide further clarity.

UN Reforms

UN Secretary General António Guterres announced plans in September to reform the world body to strengthen it and make it more responsive to the people it serves.

Nirody said these reforms would be more cohesive and flexible to provide robust policy and analytical advice that could support member states and national priorities, especially as they work toward achieving the sustainable development goals.

More than 120 UN member countries have declared their support for the reforms.

"Indonesia fully welcomes this step and it is my hope that such reform would bring countries like Indonesia closer to fulfillment of the SDGs," Retno said.