Susilo Hopes Haze Not An Issue On Asean Summit’s Agenda

Susilo Hopes Haze Not An Issue On Asean Summit’s Agenda

17 June 2006

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Palembang, Indonesia — President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono expressed his hopes that haze from Indonesia would not be raised as a topic of discussion at the ASEAN Summit, which will be held in Philippines next year, Antara news agency reported Friday.

“I hope haze from Indonesian will not be on the agenda of the ASEAN Summit that will take place next December,” he said at a conference on the running of regional administrations.

He said at the last ASEAN Summit which was held in Kuala Lumpur, he felt uncomfortable as one of the meeting’s topics was how to handle haze from Indonesia.

“We are now exporting haze. If other nations talk about some commodity we are selling them, we could feel some pride, but not when the topic is haze,” he said.

He said he had told his ASEAN colleagues that Indonesia would do something more real to overcome the haze problem in 2006 and hopefully the management (of forest fires and haze) would be better and no longer create a problem for the ASEAN region.

The President called on ministers concerned, provincial governors, district chiefs and mayors to jointly prevent, anticipate and handle forest and land fires whenever they occur.

“Tomorrow, I will clearly explain what I expect from all governors, district chiefs and mayors in terms of the handling of haze,” he said.

“I will put the regions in only two categories, namely those that have successfully handled the haze problem and those that have failed,” he said.

“We must have the courage and begin to be accountable to the people, the world and the environment,” he said.

“And I am sure if what we do about haze is right, I think (the haze problem) can be reduced significantly,” he said.

Forest and land fires in Sumatra Island have often produced thick haze that eventually also drifted to neighboring countries such as Malaysia andSingapore.


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