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Remarks by

H.E Dr. R.M Marty M. Natalegawa

Permanent Representative of the Republic of Indonesia
as Co-Chairs at the Tsunami Global Lessons Learned Event
New York, 24 April 2009

 

Secretary-General, H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon
Excellency and my fellow Co-Chair of this event, the newly appointed UNDP Administrator, Ms. Helen Clark
For information note, former United Nations Special Envoy for Tsunami Recovery, H.E. President Bill Clinton will be joining us in a little while
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, 

 

It is an honor for me to welcome all of you to this Global Tsunami Lessons Learned event.  

This year, 2009, marks the fifth year since the tsunami that brought untold suffering and destruction to many. 

My own country, Indonesia was at the epicenter of the destruction, however we were not the only nation to suffer from its impact. In fact the tsunami reached across the great expanse of the Indian Ocean.  

Over 228,000 people in some 14 countries perished, some 2.4 million people all around the Indian Ocean lost their home.

Along with Indonesia, not less than four other nations suffered major destruction. Calamity overtook parts of India, Maldives, Sri Lanka and Thailand.  

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

While the tsunami was unprecedented in terms of the destruction it brought, the response it engendered was equally unprecedented.

The entire world over, there was outpouring of sympathy and extension of support. Resilience, solidarity, compassion, goodwill and generosity made the impossible seem possible.

These are what gave the affected countries the ability to triumph over tragedy.

Within days of the disaster, Indonesia initiated the Special ASEAN Leaders’ Meeting on the Aftermath of the Earthquake and Tsunami, on 6th of January 2005 in Jakarta, Indonesia. World leaders including the Secretary-General of the United Nations resolved to assist. Arrangements were instituted to ensure effective coordination in timely delivery of help, in massing need and assistance, as well as in guaranteeing sustained attention.

In the Asia Pacific region, in the aftermath of the disaster, both ASEAN and the ASEAN Regional Forum developed rapid response capacities in dealing with natural disasters. Complex networks of bilateral and regional cooperation also grew.

Beyond our immediate region, the United Nations has helped to ensure that the affected countries sustained the support of the international community through the General’s Assembly Resolution on “Strengthening Emergency Relief, Rehabilitation, Reconstruction and Prevention in the aftermath of the Indian Ocean tsunami Disaster.” United Nations itself, under the able leadership of the Secretary-General, has made important strides to improve its capacity to respond to disasters.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Of course, the magnificent responses to the tsunami disaster have not been without challenges. This is indeed the primary purpose of our gathering this afternoon, to take stock of the rich lessons learned in the process of post-tsunami recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction as well as to share best practices of all stakeholders and recovery partners. The report before us entitled, The Tsunami Legacy: Innovation, Breakthroughs and Change, would in someway, we believe promote such a purpose.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Through the tsunami, we have learned that there is a large reservoir of goodwill, which forms the foundation for strengthening the bonds of humanity and solidarity.
We should build on this, to forge closer ties between nations and inspire a more humane world.

Now, it is my great pleasure to introduce Ms. Helen Clark, the Chair of United Nations Development Group, newly appointed UNDP Administrator and my fellow Co-Chair of this event. Ms. Clark you have the floor.

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   -   www.indonesiamission-ny.org

 

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