President Yudhoyono receives UN award

Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on behalf of Indonesian people received "Global Champion of Disaster Risk Reduction" award from the United Nations on Saturday.

"On behalf of Indonesian people, I am very honored to receive this award," President Yudhoyono said when the award was presented to him by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon in a ceremony at Bali International Convention Center (BICC) in Nusa Dua, Bali.

The Indonesian head of state said the Global Champion of Disaster Risk Reduction award was as a recognition of the determination and hard work of all Indonesians in responding to the challenges of natural disasters.

According to the president, Indonesia was the most vulnerable country to natural disasters, and therefore coping with disasters has become deeply implanted in the national mindset.

After receiving the award from the UN chief, President Yudhoyono asserted that Indonesia would continually strive to minimize the impact of any disaster.

The president expressed hope that Indonesia would continue to do its best and to develop cooperation with the United Nations.

In the ceremony, attended by among others Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Djoko Suyanto, Coordinating Minister for People`s Welfare Agung Laksono, and Coordinating Minister for Economy Hatta Rajasa, Ban Ki-Moon said President Yudhoyono deserved the Global Champion of Disaster Risk Reduction award because of his outstanding leadership.

Regionally, Indonesia has spearheaded various initiatives for disaster preparedness, such as joint regional exercises and adopting early warning system.

In Southeast Asia, ASEAN strive to attain common vision of disaster resilient nations by 2015.

At the global level, through the United Nations, Indonesia has fostered greater coordination and cooperation in disaster management.

The award should have been presented to President Yudhoyono in the Global Platform for Disaster Reduction in Geneva, Switzerland, on May 10, 2011, but the head of state was absent and represented by National Agency for Disaster Management (BNPB) Chief Syamsul Maarif.

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