Dr. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, President of the Republic of Indonesia

IndonesiaŚWorking Together to Achieve the Millennium Development Goals

September 13, 2005 02:45 PM


by Professor Jeffrey D. Sachs

Jeffrey Sachs: Good afternoon, everybody. I am Jeff Sachs, director of the
Earth Institute. I am most delighted to welcome you to this World Leaders Forum
and most honored to be able to present to you President Yudhoyono of
Indonesia. It's a very great privilege for us to have President Yudhoyono here, a
leader of one of the most important countries of the world. And for me a very
special honor and delight because I was so warmly hosted by President
Yudhoyono just last month in Jakarta when I had a chance to meet with him and
his colleagues in the cabinet to talk about Indonesia's development challenges,
and that's always very thrilling because it's a remarkable cabinet and a
remarkable group of leaders.

And we have many of the distinguished members of the cabinet here and I want
to welcome all of you as well. I want to welcome the first lady as well. It's
wonderful to see you here. We're here at a crucial moment, as you know.
Tomorrow begins the largest meeting of world leaders in history. It will be more
than 180 heads of state and government coming to the United Nations really to
consider the most crucial issues of the future of the world. And even as we meet
today we don't know whether there can be agreement on some of the most
critical challenges that we face. One of those is the predicate for today's
discussion, that is the question of poverty and economic development, the
challenge of the Millennium Development Goals, the world's shared
commitments, we hope they are shared, shared commitments to fight extreme
poverty, hunger and disease and to make marked and measured achievements
in that regard by the year 2015.

And we know that those goals intersect with all the other goals that we have,
whether it's for global peace, for the war on terror, for other forms of instability. If
there is not development, there cannot be security for anybody as Secretary
General Kofi Annan has said. He has also pointed out that if there is no security
there can't be development. So these are interacting and mutually supportive
objectives of this week's summit. We have with us a president of the fourth most
populous country in the world, the third most populous democracy in the world
and one of the countries really very much in the midst of the challenge of
democratization, economic development, poverty reduction and the fight against

So you name it, this is a great challenge. And I think we can all agree that
Indonesia is very lucky and we as friends of Indonesia are very lucky that
President Yudhoyono has won a decisive election victory last year and is leading
this very challenging and complex effort. President Yudhoyono is a retired army
general who was elected in the first direct election of an Indonesian president in
history in 2004, and he was elected with 60.87 percent of the vote, a very strong
landslide victory indeed. His campaign platform and his government is
committed to the fight against poverty, the fight for economic development and
the fight against corruption and terrorism.

He has trained and educated both in Indonesia and in the United States, having
graduated first from the Indonesian Military Academy in 1973 and then continuing
his training at Fort Benning and Fort Bragg in the United States and getting a
Masters Degree at Webster University in Missouri in 1991. And yesterday
Webster University honored President Yudhoyono with an honorary doctorate, so
congratulations on that. He served as head of Indonesia's peacekeeping forces
in Bosnia from 1995 to 1996, joined the cabinet in 1999, and since has been one
of the leaders in Indonesia and of course elected president last year. Now, there
is something very notable for all of the students in the room that I want you take
very good note of as I introduce the President.

He received his doctorate in Agricultural Economics from Bogor Institute of
Agriculture two days before his Presidential victory, so that's a pretty good
accomplishment. Mr. President, we expect that of all our doctoral students and
you are setting quite a pace and quite a remarkable show of leadership. We are
most delighted to have you here. It's my pleasure to welcome you and introduce
you to the podium.

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