Jakarta - As the frequency, severity and economic losses of disasters continue to increase across the globe, the United Nations' first-ever global champion for disaster risk reduction, Indonesia's President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono kicked-off a two-day global meeting in Jakarta on Tuesday by backing calls for hardwiring disaster management into the global development agenda.
"In 2010 alone, over 42 million people were displaced by disasters," across the globe, the President said at the opening ceremony in the State Palace. "We must safeguard Millennium Development Goals gains from setbacks from natural disasters," he added.
President Yudhoyono, who has been recognized by the UN for making disaster risk reduction a national priority following the catastrophic Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004, was the first Head of State to convert the international blueprint for disaster risk reduction (known as the Hyogo Framework, which expires in 2015) into a national plan. He is also one of three Co-Chairs of the UN Secretary-Generalâ€™s High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons, the advisory body that will meet in Bali on 25-27 March as part of the process to define global development priorities after the year 2015.
He further added that "disaster resilience should be made as one of the national building blocks for sustained prosperity and the needs to develop DRR institutional capacity as part of the national development."
The Jakarta consultations bring together academic experts, private sector, governments, the UN system and civil society groups in discussions on how to best integrate responses to disaster prior to a review conference on the themes of conflict, violence and disaster in the Post-2015 agenda to be held in Helsinki, Finland, on 13 March 2013.
The main focus of the Jakarta consultations will be on the ability of governments and international organizations to prevent and manage the aftermath of disasters as one of their top responsibilities.