Asean ministerial meeting on disaster management

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN (Borneo Bulletin/ANN) - According to a news release on the Asean website, the theme for the meetings was ‘Safe and Resilient Communities for a Resilient Asean’.

According to a news release on the Asean website, the theme for the meetings was ‘Safe and Resilient Communities for a Resilient Asean’.

The opening was attended by Deputy Prime Minister of Lao PDR Dr Bounthong Chitmany, Asean Ministers in-charge of Disaster Management, Secretary-General of Asean, and the Governor of Luang Prabang.

Deputy Prime Minister Chitmany acknowledged that Asean’s cooperation in disaster management has proven to be effective and satisfactory.

He expressed confidence that with the leadership of the Asean Ministers in charge of disaster management, the region will achieve a joint agreement leading to the effective implementation of action lines on disaster management enshrined in the Asean Vision 2025, thus contributing to the Asean Community building process.

The Secretary-General of Asean, Le Luong Minh commended the theme of the Asean ADDM, and stated that the ADDM will continue to be a milestone in which Asean officials in charge of disaster management will work with local communities to enhance awareness and institutionalise disaster risk management from local to regional level.

He added that the event reaffirmed Asean’s commitment and belief in a comprehensive and coherent response to disasters through multi-stakeholder and multi-sectoral approaches so as to build a people-oriented, people-centred community with enhanced capacity for resilience and inclusion.

The Meeting was chaired by Kampheng Saysompheng, Minister of Labor and Social Welfare of Lao PDR.

In the Chairman’s statement of the 6th Meeting of the Conference of Parties to the Asean Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response and the 5th Asean Ministerial Meeting on Disaster Management, it is stated that the ministers congratulated the chosen theme for the Asean Day of Disaster Management this year.

According to the statement, the ministers commended the achievements of the Asean Committee on Disaster Management (ACDM) in the implementation of the AADMER Work Programme 2016-2020 as well as the Governing Board of the Asean Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management (AHA Centre) in overseeing and guiding the operationalisation of the AHA Centre.

Among the points mentioned in the statement is that, with a view to realising the One Asean One Response Declaration by 2020, the Ministers endorsed the ACDM’s decision to task the Asean Secretariat to convene a senior officials multi-sectoral workshop in early 2018 to strategise and develop plan of actions for its effective implementation.

It is also stated that, with regard to innovative financing to enhance resilience in Asean, the Ministers noted that the Asean Secretariat has been tasked to develop the strategy to accelerate the establishment of risk transfer mechanisms at the national and regional levels as well as highlight the potential value of collaboration with different partners, particularly the private sectors on innovative risk financing mechanisms and sharing of country experiences or national pilot projects.

"As an outward-looking organisation, Asean not only seeks to address and manage disasters in our region, but also to reach out to contribute to world efforts in managing disasters, as aspired for in the Asean Vision 2025 on Disaster Management for Asean to position itself as a global leader in disaster management by 2025," reads the statement.

In light of this, the Ministers endorsed ACDM’s support for Asean to participate in the Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR) 2018 to be held in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia and other relevant meetings including the Regional Organisations Humanitarian Action Network (ROHAN) as well as the Global Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction, particularly in articulating its position through Asean Joint Statements.

The Ministers expressed support for the Asean Secretariat to play a central coordinating role in facilitating Asean’s engagement with ROHAN, with the support of AHA Centre.

In addition, the Ministers also noted that the 1st Inter-Ministerial Dialogue on Disaster Management will be convened in 2018 in Malaysia.

According to the chairman’s statement, "The dialogue will be a significant cornerstone in charting how relevant Asean sectors converge in realising the One Asean One Response Declaration by 2020 and ensure that cross-sector and cross-pillar coordination in operationalising the declaration is enhanced and coupled with policy cohesion.

"The Ministers encouraged such efforts and were of views that Asean shall further strengthen its cooperation on disaster management and humanitarian assistance, and proactively contribute to international community’s agenda as the world leader in disaster management."

ByDanial Norjidi