Indonesian Candidacy for ICC Chairmanship of FAO Concern for Global Issue

















The running of Indonesian candidate for Independent Chairperson of the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) is not merely a solidarity to developing countries, but global issues such as malnutrition, impact of climate change, crop failure, unfair food distribution, etc. The problem of malnutrition hit both developing and developed countries. “My presentation in front of leaders of FAO, country representatives throughout the world, that there is a similar understanding towards global issue. I am not representing country members of FAO, but together in understanding global issue we have to face. Besides, the solution is what I put forward during presentation,” Suseno Sukoyono, Independent Chairperson of the FAO Council (ICC) told Indonesia Media.

Suseno who currently serves as an expert staff to Minister of Fisheries and Maritime Affairs (KKP) will campaign for global issues such as forestry and agriculture sectors. Those two sectors are very huge. The problem of malnutrition is not merely caused by lack of nutrition. Malnutrition is very much related with bad eating habit. As we can see that many junk food and snack can be found easily in both developing and developed countries. “We can see (bad eating habit) in every country, either junk food or fast food have become big problems.”

Suseno’s preparation for the running has been for several months that he is ready to compete with another five candidates from different countries. Three of them come from Europe namely Bosnia and Herzegovina, Republic of Cyprus and Slovakia. One candidate from Angola, Africa and another two come from Indonesia and Pakistan. FAO consists of four big groups representing the world. The four groups are Asia, Near East, Latin America and Africa. “Near East Group is almost similar with Middle East, comprising Jordan, Iran, Iraq and another. Latin America comprises of Mexico, Brazil plus Caribbean. This is the biggest group, consisting of members who serve as ambassadors. I have met all of them who give full support to me.”

Suseno reiterated that Indonesian presence is very significant, and its momentum for the ICC candidacy for ICC too. So far, Indonesian presence for chairmanship of world organization especially the ones affiliated to the United Nations is none. The previous position of Indroyono Soesilo who used to serve as Director for Fisheries and Aquaculture Resources Use and Conservation Division FAO is different from ICC. “Mr. Indroyono is executive, while ICC is a council. Since Indonesia proclaimed independence, there was only one person (for ICC position), namely former agriculture minister, Sjarifuddin Baharsjah. He was formerly an independent chairman for FAO. After that, there has been none (of Indonesian representative) for FAO. If we compare with China, India, they manage to put their experts for the position of director, even higher than that,” he said.

Indroyono has expertise for executive position, especially his technical competence. But for ICC, independent candidate should be competent for technicality, diplomacy and politics. Since ICC has always been rampant with political games of developed countries. The candidacy of Suseno however has been intense in coordination with Indonesian Foreign Affairs Ministry (Kemlu). Therefore Indonesian Representative Offices throughout the world, especially the one in Rome, Italy has been working hard to hold campaign. “I always need to envision the global collaboration and partnership to improve food and agriculture. I am running (for ICC chairmanship) is never meant as a threat, Indonesia is not a threat either. I have underlined (the vision) when holding campaign. I follow Chinese philosophy (namely) ‘A thousand friends are few, one enemy is too many.’ Therefore when I met with some ambassadors in Rome, we felt a friendship atmosphere. Here we can see the importance of people to people contact, is very much needed.”( S Liu / IM )

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