In post-2015 debate, a call to mainstream disaster management

Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, president of Indonesia. Photo by: Moritz Hager / World Economic Forum / CC BY

A key player in drafting a new global development agenda has joined the call to “mainstream” disaster management post-2015.

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono kicked off a two-day meeting in Jakarta on Tuesday (Feb. 19) by urging the international community to better incorporate disaster management in its planning. Yudhoyono co-chairs a high-level panel tasked by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon with crafting a set of development priorities to succeed the Millennium Development Goals, which expire in 2015.

“We must safeguard Millennium Development Goals gains from setbacks from natural disasters,” said Yudhoyono, one of the first heads of state to transform the international blueprint for disaster risk reduction into a national plan following the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami that devastated parts of Indonesia.

Jordan Ryan, U.N. assistant secretary-general and director of the U.N. Development Program’s Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery, praised Indonesia as a role model for others eager to connect disaster management with political solutions to conflict.

“Indonesia has transformed itself into a nation that is both at the forefront of innovative disaster risk reduction, and a strong global advocate for its integration into the international development frameworks,” Ryan said at the event. “Disaster risk reduction is a crucial underlying factor for all our efforts to alleviate poverty and accelerate the progress of development.”

UNDP has reported that the past 30 years have seen at least $3.5 trillion in losses due to natural disasters, and that disasters have hampered many countries from attaining their MDGs.

Another conference focusing on the impact of disasters, conflict and violence on the post-2015 agenda will be held March 13 in Helsinki, Finland.

This week’s event was attended by representatives from the United Nations, civil society, academia, government and the private sector center.

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    Johanna Morden

    Johanna Morden is a community development worker by training and a global development journalist by profession. As a former Devex staff writer based in Manila, she covered the Asian Development Bank as well as Asia-Pacific's aid community at large. Johanna has written for a variety of international publications, covering social issues, disasters, government, ICT, business, and the law.