BALI/GENEVA, 18 November 2011
– The United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, will tomorrow officially recognise the appointment of the Indonesian President, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, as the first UNISDR global champion of disaster risk reduction at the 19th ASEAN summit in Bali as the region copes with the impact of record floods.
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is the first person to be designated a global champion by the UN office for disaster risk reduction, UNISDR, and is being recognised for making disaster risk reduction a national priority following the Asian tsunami which hit the country on December 26, 2004, just two months after he took office.
UNISDR Chief, Margareta Wahlstrom, commented: “Within weeks of taking office, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono was confronted with one of the worst disasters in his country’s history. He rose to the occasion and set about transforming risk management in Indonesia through a series of far-reaching measures which will be an enduring part of his political legacy.
“Against the backdrop of the loss of lives and livelihoods which we have seen across the region this year as a result of floods and earthquakes, Indonesia is an example of how to align disaster management with other development priorities in order to strengthen the resilience of communities and individuals. Disaster response, post-disaster recovery and disaster risk reduction are now given equal importance and the country is much better prepared for small and major disasters.”
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono was the first head of State to convert the international blueprint for disaster risk reduction, the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015: Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities in Disasters into a national plan following which Indonesia adopted a new Disaster Risk Reduction law in 2007. As part of his new role as Global Champion, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono will continue to advocate and promote the importance of disaster risk reduction particularly in the areas of school and hospital safety.