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TALKING POINTS - SEECH BY THE MINISTER FOR RURAL AND MARITIME DEVELOPMENT AND NATIONAL DISASTER MANAGEMENT, HON, INISERUIRATU AT THE SIGNING OF THE MOU ON DISASTER RISK MANAGEMENT BETWEEN THE REPUBLIC OF INDONESIA AND THE GOVERNMENT OF FIJI


website06 JUNE 2016
SUVA

Salutation

Hon. Willem Rampangilei, Minister for National Disaster Management Authority, Government of Indonesia, and your delegation. Thank you for your visit to Fiji and availing yourself to be here with us at the National
Disaster Management Office, Ministry of Rural and Maritime Development and National Disaster Management to sign a
Memorandum of Understanding (
MOU) on disaster risk management.

·                   Firstly, let me thank the Government of Indonesia for offering its assistance and support in the development of the MOU with the Fijian Government.
·                   The signing of the MOU today marks yet another milestone of bilateral relationship between the Fijian Government and Indonesian Government. This is in addition to the many bilateral accords that the two (2) countries have agreed and signed.
·                   Fiji, as you may have known, is geographically situated in one of the most natural disaster prone areas in the world. And because of that, a lot of natural hazards occur in Fiji – hazards such as tropical cyclone, landslide, flood, storm surge and drought are most common.
·                   The vulnerability of Fiji to natural hazards is mirrored in the devastating effect of severe Tropical Cyclone Winston that hit the country in February this year. This Category 5 cyclone, the strongest in the southern hemisphere has really tested our resolve and the capability of the Fijian government and our community. But I am glad to say that we, in collaboration with our overseas counterparts, including your government, have managed to stand firmly on our feet and provided the most needed relief assistance to the affected areas in a timely manner.

·                   The signing of MOU will further strengthen our: (1) exchange of knowledge and expertise in prevention and preparedness on disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation and recovery; (2) enhancement of human resources quality through understanding best practices, participation in joint trainings, workshops, and programs related to Disaster Risk Management; (3) mutual assistance in cases of natural disaster; and (4) engagement in other method of cooperation as mutually agreed in writing to by both parties.

·                   My NDMO in the next few months is planning to visit your National Disaster Management Authority to learn from your operation and process and to also see the design of your NDMA facility and perhaps adapt for our intended NDMO complex that we intend to construct soon.

·                   Today’s signing of this MOU will allow both countries to prepare themselves well ahead of time to quickly respond to the needs of our communities so that they can be self-sustaining and resilient after a disaster. At the same time, lessen the impact of disaster on our social systems, infrastructure and the economy.
·                   I am looking forward to working closely with you in seeing that this MOU is effectually put into motion for the benefit of our both countries.

·                   Before I conclude Minister, let me extend the heartfelt gratitude of the Fijian Government to the Indonesian Government for its financial support and technical assistance rendered towards the reconstruction of Queen Victoria School. This prestigious learning school was badly affected by Winston. I am happy to say that work of your engineers is progressing well. You will have the privilege to witness this personally this afternoon when we tour QVS.
·                   Please enjoy the tropical weather, food, and hospitality during your stay in Fiji. Thank yo
indeed for this occasion Minister and I wish you and your entourage a safe trip back home.


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