Regional Consultative Group on Humanitarian Civil-Military Coordination for Asia and the Pacific - Newsletter I Issue 2 | July 2017

Report
from UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Published on 14 Jul 2017

Singapore, as the current RCG Chair, is glad to share the latest updates in relation to the RCG as well as other UN-CMCoord activities in the Asia-Pacific region:

  1. Mid-term consultation of the RCG on Humanitarian Civil-Military Coordination for Asia and the Pacific;

  2. RCG Logistics Working Group;

  3. Third Session of the RCG on Humanitarian Civil-Military Coordination for Asia and the Pacific.

REGIONAL CONSULTATIVE GROUP (RCG) MID-TERM CONSULTATION

On Friday 9 June, Singapore chaired the RCG mid-term consultation that took place in Bangkok, Thailand. During the event, RCG members received an update on the civil-military coordination work plans in each of the RCG priority countries:

a. Bangladesh outlined key outcomes of the recent Regional Humanitarian Civil-Military Coordination (UN-CMCoord) Course for Asia, (Dhaka, March 2017) and explained how key UN-CMCoord concepts and principles would be tailored to the context of Bangladesh during a forthcoming civil-military coordination workshop and Senior Leaders’ Seminar to take place in Dhaka in July 2017. Bangladesh also outlined how these discussions will contribute to the development of the forthcoming Disaster Response Exercise and Exchange (DREE, October 2017);

b. Indonesia briefed RCG members on progress made in the development of the National Disaster Response Framework (NDRF), a project that is the result of a cooperation between the Government of Indonesia and the New Zealand Government (June 2016-December 2017). The NDRF will include arrangements for the use of national and foreign military assets in disaster response. Furthermore, Indonesia highlighted that Government, humanitarian and military actors will continue to engage for the elaboration of one unified, Government-led coordination structure, including through the development of standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the Multi-Agency Coordination Centre (MAC).
Finally, Indonesia will continue to use the Government-led working group on humanitarian civil-military coordination to focus on logistics planning;

c. Nepal announced that the standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the Multinational Military Coordination Center (MNMCC) have been finalized and should be approved prior to the RCG Third Session (December 2017). Nepal also provided an overview of key civil-military coordination exercises to take place at national level and informed RCG members that the Government has recently granted authorization to establish a Disaster Training School;

d. Myanmar briefed RCG members on the outcomes of the Humanitarian Civil-Military Coordination Workshop that took place in Naypyidaw at the end of March 2017. The event gathered senior officials/chief of operations from all the 14 military regional commands, Army, Air force and Navy HQ, as well as representatives from all the key ministries and humanitarian partners. Key recommendations from the workshop included the establishment of a technical working group on humanitarian civil-military coordination. The working group would be tasked to organize/facilitate upcoming civil-military coordination trainings and workshops, as well as develop a contact list for civil and military actors currently engaging in natural disaster responses across the country;

e. The Philippines briefed RCG members about the key outcomes of Balikatan, the annual military exercise between the Philippines and the United States that was held from 08 to 19 May. This year’s edition of the exercise saw also the participation of military forces from Australia and Japan and was designed to build partnership among multi-lateral forces through humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR). The exercise also provided the opportunity to test key UN-CMCoord concepts such as the Request for Assistance (RFA) process for the use of national and foreign military assets during disaster response. In relation to the 2017/2018 RCG work plan, an important focus will be placed on the development of country-specific civil-military coordination guidelines for the Philippines. The annual training calendar of UN-CMCoord courses targeted at the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) was also presented during the RCG mid-term consultation.

The RCG mid-term consultation also provided the opportunity for members to discuss the outcomes of the RCG Logistic Working Group (RCG-LWG) and agree on the key themes to be addressed during the RCG Third Session.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:

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