(Geneva, 3 July 2012)

Mr. President,
Ladies and Gentleman,

Let me first of all introduce myself. My name is Edi Yusup, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Republic of Indonesia to the United Nations, World Trade Organization, and Other International Organizations in Geneva. I wish to begin by sharing my gratefulness for this privilege of opportunity to address the Trade and Development Board in its 55th session.

This is barely my first week in Geneva, yet I have already been honored with this rare opportunity to confer with my colleagues and to discuss best ways to achieve our common goal of global equity and prosperity. Due to the recent departure of Ambassador Djani to Jakarta, I am now executing my duty as the Acting Chairman of the Group of-77 and China, in lieu of Ambassador Djani as my predecessor.

This meeting of the Board affords us the opportunity to reflect on UNCTAD's work for Africa, as well as to guide its efforts in enhancing its activities in this important area. This specific session has the added importance of being the first of its kind since Doha, and we look forward to all partners making the most of this opportunity.

Mr. President,

We appreciate the efforts that UNCTAD has taken in implementing the Accra Accord and we look forward to continuity as it implements the Doha Mandate. Yet we expect an important shift taking into account what was agreed upon in UNCTAD XIII.

A key step forward is enhancing efforts in the area of capacity building especially in the area of building productive capacities. This effort should not be viewed as an end in itself but as part of a broader effort to bring about inclusive and sustainable development.

For this sustainability to be possible, domestic conditions must be strengthened. Equally important is to ensure a conducive and supportive global economic environment and architecture. We therefore look forward to UNCTAD continuing its important work on how all levels of the development equation, global, regional, and national, can be enhanced and strengthened to ensure that sustainable and sustained development - including in Africa - can best be nurtured and accelerated.

The recently concluded Rio plus 20 and the various processes it launched make UNCTAD's efforts more relevant, and more urgent. Giving this added urgency are the discussions that will be launched on developing Sustainable Development Goals, and in the context of the global preparations for 2015 when we expect a major review of the Millennium Development Goals. UNCTAD through its three pillars should actively contribute to that effort in order to ensure the best possible outcome from 2015, and to ensure that the resulting goals, whatever they may be, will be an improvement over the MDGs in realizing real and sustained development.

This is an especially pressing imperative in the context of Africa, where the MDGs have made important contributions, but have fallen short of expectations as, in a retrospect, they addressed more social concerns that solved fundamental development challenges.

We therefore look forward to the ahead of the curve and creative thinking that UNCTAD is known for to develop fresh and more timely ideas to address today's development challenges, and to propose more effective ways to address them.

The forthcoming 50th anniversary of UNCTAD would be an excellent opportunity for UNCTAD to present a magnum opus, its contemporary grand work on development. That work should propose ways and means of enhancing the development goals post-2015. In so doing, the broad spectrum of issues within UNCTAD's mandate should be addressed in UNCTAD's hallmark integrated and holistic fashion.

That work should also take into account the reality that there is no one-size-fits-all solution, and present integrated policy options for countries to consider. This is indeed a massive challenge, but we are sure that UNCTAD is up to the task. This initiative could be seen as UNCTAD's Apollo program. While we may not reach the moon through this effort, we should continue to aspire for the stars.

Mr. President,

In preparing such an ambitious undertaking, UNCTAD should organize a sustained and integrated series of informal workshops and brainstorming sessions with member states. This would be an important opportunity for the consensus-building pillar to be fully seized and engaged, and hence enrich its contribution to the broader work of the UN in development. The overall objective would be to contribute to the post-2015 development paradigm by engaging actively in the debate leading up to the review of the MDGs. This would entail addressing holistically the broad spectrum of issues.

In the context of Africa, such discussions could include how inter-regional mechanisms such as the New Asia-Africa Strategic Partnership can contribute to the overall development of Africa, including in the context of South-South cooperation. Indeed, the Group of 77 and China has in recent years expressed an interest in analytical work in this regard, and we continue to await the secretariat's work in this regard.

Workshops and brainstorming sessions could also be organized on ways and means of enhancing sustainability in key areas, including in fostering food and energy security in Africa. If fundamental areas such as these are not adequately addressed, the basis itself of Africa's development will remain uncertain.

We also look forward to UNCTAD working more closely with the Economic Commissions and regional development banks, to likewise contribute to their relevant intergovernmental processes. We recognize the fundamental important of UNCTAD's analytical work, and the evaluable contributions it continues to make. Yet the single factor that makes UNCTAD special is the intergovernmental machinery, which brings the analytical work to life. We expect that by intensifying our engagement of the key issues, and making informal contributions to the relevant intergovernmental processes in other bodies, we can better fulfill our responsibility in advancing the global consensus on development.

Likewise, their intergovernmental deliberations can bring important regional perspectives to our work. It may be useful therefore to consider inviting the president of the Economic Commission for Africa's (ECA's) governing body to participate at the next executive session on Africa, and to explore the possibility of the President of the Trade and Development Board participating in the relevant meetings of the regional commissions to bring the UNCTAD intergovernmental perspective.

Thank you Mr. President.