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Joint Communique of the 38th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting, Vientiane, 26 Jul 2005

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Disaster Management

35. We signed on 26 July 2005 the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response, which will provide effective regional mechanisms to mitigate the impacts of natural and human-induced disaster and serve as a joint response to disaster emergencies through concerted national efforts and intensified regional cooperation. We further acknowledged the importance of this agreement to strengthen international efforts towards developing a world-wide early-warning system for natural and human-induced disasters through, among other things, a multimodal approach, and taking into consideration the internationally agreed framework on the strategy for disaster reduction. We urged for the early operationalisation of an ASEAN Standby Arrangements for Disaster Relief and Emergency Response, which would work in tandem with other similar arrangements.

36. We reaffirmed our commitment to intensify our cooperation as well as with other countries in the areas of emergency relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction; and prevention and mitigation, as called for at the Special ASEAN Leaders' Meeting on the Aftermath of Earthquake and Tsunami in Jakarta in January 2005. We welcomed the results of the Ministerial Meeting on Regional Operation on Tsunami Early Warning Arrangements held in Phuket and the decision to develop a multi-nodal early warning arrangement for the Indian Ocean and the Pacific, and recognised the readiness of the Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre (ADPC) to serve as a focal point working with other centres in the region, such as the ASEAN Earthquake Information Centre (AEIC), ASEAN Specialised Meteorological Centre (ASMC), the ASEAN Disaster Reduction Centre (ADRC), and the Indian Ocean Global Ocean Observing System (IOGOOS).