Statement by H.E. Mr. Dian Triansyah Djani, Head of Delegation of Indonesia at the Thematic Plenary Meeting on Strengthening Disaster Law

November 30, 2011 Human Rights and Humanitarian Issues

Mr. Chairman,

Natural disasters have always been, and will continue to be, a hazardous part of our human existence. From Haiti, to Pakistan, from Japan to Thailand, no corner of the world is immune from tragedy and natural disasters know no borders. We in Indonesia have ample experiences since we are a country that has almost all the natural disasters known to mankind.

Permit me to highlight steps that have been undertaken by Indonesia which is in line to what are being discussed in this important Conference.

The 2004 tsunami taught us an invaluable lesson. In the immediate aftermath of the disaster, we strengthened the legislative framework, including through the adoption of Law Number 24/2007 on Disaster Management, which addresses disaster management-related activities comprehensively, from prevention and mitigation, to preparedness and emergency response, and finally to recovery.

Furthermore, in its efforts to convert the international blueprint for disaster risk reduction, the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015, into a national plan, Indonesia adopted two National Action Plans for Disaster Risk Reduction, covering the periods 2006-2009 and 2010-2012.

At the institutional level, a National Agency for Disaster Management was established, with mandates to reduce the country’s vulnerability to disasters through disaster risk reduction measures; build a solid disaster management system; and conduct coordinated, cohesive and comprehensive disaster management actions.

To date, all 33 provinces in Indonesia now have their own independent DM Agencies and nearly 65% of the districts and cities have followed suit. In addition, disaster research and education programmes, Early Warning Systems and emergency response capacity have been greatly improved.

In the regional context, we have continuously championed efforts to promote collaboration in disaster management, within the context of ASEAN and the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF). ASEAN have the legal framework namely the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER)  and recently in the 19 th ASEAN Summit in Bali, ASEAN leaders established the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management or AHA centre. In the ARF context, 4000 participants from 25 countries of ARF participated in civilian-military exercise scenario to response  to disasters in Menado, Indonesia in March 2011.

Mr. Chairman,

Indonesia is of the view that since virtually no country in the world can handle disasters entirely on its own, the involvement of the international community, especially in the emergency response phase, is essential.  Hence, Indonesia continues its ongoing and active cooperation with various international humanitarian and disaster reduction machineries.

However, at the end of the day, the bulk of the disaster management effort at all of its stages lies primarily with the respective governments. Therefore, while international cooperation is essential, the concerned country/countries should be independently capable of handling disaster events.

Mr. Chairman,

The recent recognition of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono as the First Global Champion of Disaster Risk Reduction by the UN Secretary-General is a testimony to Indonesia’s exemplary commitment to align disaster management with other development priorities in order to strengthen the resilience of communities and individuals.

This event has not only boosted our commitment and self-confidence to deal with disaster risk reduction at the local and national levels, but also at the regional and international levels, in a spirit of partnership and empathy.

Finally, Mr. Chairman, we would like to reiterate our common endeavors, not just when disaster strikes but in our quest to ensure that when it does, we all are fully prepared. We should collectively sthrengthen our efforts, built on our human resources paticularly those related to disaster assistance. At the end of the day, what is at stake is interest of the victim of disasters.

Thank you.

Geneva, 30 November 2011