PIDATO PRESIDEN REPUBLIK INDONESIA
MENERIMA PENGHARGAAN PERSATUAN BANGSA-BANGSA
GLOBAL CHAMPION ON DISASTER RISK REDUCTION
His Excellency Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of the United Nations,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Thank you for honoring me with the Global Champion for Disaster Risk Reduction award. I accept this, as recognition of the determination and hard work of all Indonesian, in responding to the challenges of natural disasters.
Indonesia is the most vulnerable country to natural disasters. And, as a consequence, coping with disasters has become deeply implanted in our national mindset. If there is anything NEW in our short, medium, and long-term development strategy, it is disaster risk reduction.
We have established a law in 2007 that made disaster risk reduction a compulsory factor, in all development efforts, in building factories, infrastructures, offices, schools, homes, and others. Disaster management is among the top priorities of my government, and since 2008, the allocated budget increased by some 1,000 percent.
In recent years, we have learnt many lessons. Let me share with you a few. First, we need to change our paradigm from reactive to proactive, from emergency response to risk reduction, and from government to civil society. Second, we need to make it comprehensive and covering all aspects of our national development. We are finalizing a disaster risk map this year, to help with planning and awareness at the provincial level.
Third, we need to instill a culture of safety nationwide. Prevention and preparedness are far better than reacting and mourning. Fourth, government cannot do this alone: the community must be engaged. We have established local disaster management teams, ready to act in emergency. Fifth, the importance of local leadership. During disasters, there would be communication and logistical problems, and the role of local actors are much needed. And finally, try to make use of local wisdom.
This is what the people in the island of Simeulue did to avoid tsunami destruction in 2004. They fled to the hills when they saw signs of a tsunami: a local knowledge imparted by their ancestors.
Regionally, Indonesia has spearheaded various initiatives for disaster preparedness, such as joint regional exercises and adopting early warning system. In Southeast Asia, ASEAN strive to attain common vision of disaster resilient nations by 2015.
At the global level, through the United Nations, lndonesia has fostered greater coordination and cooperation in disaster management. Next June, I will also announce the launching of the World Economic Forum’s Third Country Network of the Disaster Resource Partnership.
The national program, regional and global initiatives aim at not only preparedness, but also build solidarity across nations.
After all, disasters affecting one country ultimately affect all of humanity.
I thank you.