Geneva, 16 June – President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of Indonesia met with Margareta Wahlström, the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction, on Wednesday to discuss ways to help build the resilience of communities.
Acknowledging that disaster risks are increasing, President Yudhoyono committed to working with the United Nations secretariat for the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) to raise the profile of disaster risk reduction with other leaders in Indonesia and in Asia. The meeting also raised the issue of integrating disaster risk reduction into national development plans and poverty reduction strategies.
The President of Indonesia was recognized as the "UNISDR Global Champion for Disaster Risk Reduction," at the opening ceremony of the 2011 Global Platform for Disaster Reduction held in Geneva this past May.
"We need to instill a culture of safety nationwide. Prevention and preparedness is far better than reacting and mourning," said the Indonesian President, who delivered thank you remarks in a video message to delegates of the Global Platform. "Governments cannot do this alone. The community must be engaged," he added.
Indonesia is the 2011 Chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and will host the Asian Ministerial Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction in October 2012 in Yogyakarta.
In addition to meeting with Ms. Wahlström, President Yudhoyono was in Geneva to attend the 100th session of the International Labour Conference.