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New York, 9 December 2009 


President of the General Assembly, Dr. Ali Abdussalam Treki,
Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Ban Ki-moon,
Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Mr. John Holmes,
Minister of State for International Development, United Kingdom, Right Hon Gareth Thomas MP



Ladies and Gentlemen, 


It is a great pleasure for me to join you in New York.


This year marks the fifth anniversary of the Indian Ocean Tsunami in 2004. It was a tragic incident of unprecedented proportion; striking a dozen countries in an instant. 


Yet, it was also a powerful unifying event that mobilized perhaps one of the largest humanitarian operations in history.  


For Indonesia, in a matter of minutes, foreign governments and people rushed to contact the government of Indonesia, to lend their hand, including the UN agencies and other multilateral and regional organizations, as well as inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations.  


At that time, we realized that no country will be able to tackle a natural disaster with this magnitude alone.  


Hundreds of humanitarian personnel came quickly to the affected areas from all parts of the world.  Billions in humanitarian funds were gathered to help save lives. 


We later learned that the billions of humanitarian funds were not immediately available.   


We also later learned that this shortfall inspired the United Nations to initiate reforms for its humanitarian operations.  


The UN’s humanitarian reforms were launched with the intent of effectively and efficiently assisting countries that have suffered the impacts of a disaster. One of the initiatives is what we now know as the Central Emergency Response Fund or CERF. As the President of the General Assembly has mentioned, CERF was created in part out of the spirit of generosity that characterized the global response to the Indian Ocean tsunami. 


From Indonesia’s perspective, there has been a visible improvement of funding management by the UN during disaster responses since reforms took place.  CERF enables agencies to start their emergency response early.  Moreover, CERF also boosts the spirit of coordination among the implementing agencies to work in a coordinated manner.   


The previous Aceh and Jakarta flood and recent earthquake in West Sumatra province were some examples where CERF has proven to be valuable.  Through various UN agencies working at field level, assistance was immediately available and rapidly provided to help the affected people.  


Let me at this opportunity express the Government of Indonesia’s highest appreciation for the voluntary contributions from the donor community.  



The Indonesian government has been making efforts to build community resilience towards disasters through its national disaster management system.  


The system has six areas of focus namely: legislation, institutions, planning, budgeting, science and technology, as well as implementation. As we strive to strengthen our disaster management systemat both national and local level, the portion that CERF has contributed during some emergency responses in Indonesia has enabled us to focus on the huge challenges on disaster management in Indonesia. 


Often, disasters erode the capacity of a nation to cope with their impact and even more, consume the resources for development.  During a disaster and the emergency response phase especially for saving lives, it is very important to have funding as immediate as we can.   


In this regard, the Government of Indonesia highly appreciates the initiative of the UN to have the CERF in place.



Ladies and Gentlemen, 


Finally, widespread disasters continue to happen worldwide and with the negative impact of climate change, the trend of natural disasters is worsening around the world. I therefore urge the donor community to continue lending their support to the CERF.  


The CERF represents what we can achieve when we work together, for each other.  


Thank you.

Permanent Mission of the Republic of Indonesia to the United Nations, New York
325 East 38th Street, New York, NY, 10016, USA
Tel: 1.212.972.8333,   Fax: 1.212.972.9780   -


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