The great and the not-so-bad 1
As an observer of Indonesian people for more than 18 years, I have obviously separated them into groups according to my perceptions and their notoriety. There are some who make the headlines for the right reasons and others, many others, for reasons that are very wrong.
I have long been an admirer of Emil Salim
who rarely made the headlines. He has had a distinguished career in public service as Minister of State for Administrative Reform, Vice Chairman of the National Planning Board, Minister of Transportation, Communication and Tourism, Minister of State for Development Supervision and the Environment, and Minister of State for Population and the Environment.
it is in the latter post, which he held from 1978-1993, during the Suharto era, that I first took notice of him. He appeared to be one of the only politicians who was not concerned with economic development per se or with enriching himself, unlike the overtly corrupt Suharto family and cronies.As Indonesia's First Minister of Environment, he inspired many new conservation initiatives in Indonesia, and helped to ensure that the environment was incorporated in development decisions.
When he left the Suharto administration there were rumours that he could no longer stomach the self-aggrandisement of his erstwhile colleagues. Whatever, he has continued to lead an honourable life of public service, lately at the University of Indonesia as a Professor of Economics.
More importantly, in addition to his public service at the national level, he served as President of the UNEP Governing Council from 1985 to 1987, and as Co-Chair of the World Commission on Environment and Development (1984-1987).
In the latter post, he helped to write the influential report, "Our Common Future".He chaired the Preparatory Committee for the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development, which was the leading environmental event of this century. His international diplomacy helped to guide delicate international negotiations to a successful conclusion.
Other significant contributions he has made to the environment include Board membership of the International Institute on Environment and Development and the Stockholm Environment Institute. He also served as a member of the World Health Organization's Health and Environment Commission, and as a member of the UN High Level Advisory Board on Sustainable Development.
His recognition as the 2005 Zayed Prize Winner
for Environmental Action Leading to Positive Change in Society is richly deservedThe entire concept of sustainable development was given significant impetus through his work on the World Commission on Environment and Development, and his driving the agenda of the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development helped to define the development agenda for the early 21st century.
Jakartass salutes you Emil.
I reserve judgement until tomorrow on Josef Kalla, SBY's vice president.