JAKARTA, 30 November 2020 – ASEAN Ministers in charge of disaster management agreed on the strategic direction of regional cooperation in mitigating disaster losses and responding to disaster emergencies for the next five years. On 27 November, they adopted the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER) Work Programme 2021-2025.
The AADMER work programme aims to build on the progress and develop a region of resilient nations that are coordinated in mitigating the effects of disasters in pursuit of safer communities and sustainable development. The new work programme was endorsed during the 8th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Disaster Management (AMMDM) and the 9th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the AADMER. .
“ASEAN’s transformation into a region that is resilient and adaptive to all forms of disasters must be carried out through a multi-hazards approach in disaster management,” said Secretary-General of ASEAN Dato Lim Jock Hoi.
Dato Lim also strongly urged the ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management (ACDM) to plant the seeds of collaboration with all stakeholders and nurture these relationships towards a common goal of reducing disaster losses and building a disaster-resilient ASEAN.
ASEAN countries often experience a host of disasters ranging from earthquakes, floods, landslides and typhoons, as well as human-induced disasters. The wide geographic stretch of incidences and increasing frequency of disasters require ASEAN communities to enhance their readiness and emergency response capacity.
The Philippines’ Secretary of National Defense and outgoing Chair of AMMDM Delfin Lorenzana mentioned that “all ASEAN Member States must continue working together to strengthen partnerships with ASEAN Dialogue Partners, humanitarian assistance actors, private sector entities, and other interested parties in realizing and fostering disaster risk governance.”
“Through the implementation of the AADMER Work Programme 2021-2025, I am confident that we can build better resilience towards the ASEAN vision of becoming a global leader in disaster management by 2025,” he further added.
On his part, Singapore’s Minister of State for Home Affairs and National Development and the incoming Chair of AMMDM Dr. Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim mentioned that “there are many opportunities for ASEAN to work together, adapt and transform to reach greater heights. The new AADMER Work Programme will help to foster greater cooperation in the ASEAN region and take us one step closer towards operationalising ‘One ASEAN, One Response’.’’
“With the strong collective resolve to reduce disaster risks and enhance our expertise at disaster management, and determination to advance as a region, we can make ASEAN disaster-resilient and safer for all,” he concluded.
The AADMER work programme received support from the Japanese and Canadian governments, as well as the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction. Various government ministries and agencies from ASEAN Member States (AMS), along with development partners, conducted virtual consultations in finalising the work programme.
At the meeting, ministers also provided guidance on enhancing cooperation with other ASEAN sectoral ministerial bodies and ASEAN-related mechanisms to ensure synergy of efforts in areas related to disaster management.
They commended the progress reports presented by the Under-Secretary of National Defense of the Philippines Ricardo Jalad, Chair of ACDM and member of the Governing Board of the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management (AHA Centre), on the deliverables and achievements under the Philippines’ Chairmanship in 2020.
The 37th ACDM Meeting on 25 Nov 2020, discussed the utilisation and proposed distribution of the ADMER Fund, ongoing cooperation with Dialogue Partners, and its role in supporting the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework and Implementation Plan.
The 8th AMMDM and 9th COP to AADMER took place in conjunction with the 37th ACDM Meeting, 14th Meeting of the Joint Task Force to Promote Synergy with Other Relevant Sectoral Bodies on Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief, and the 13th Meeting of the Governing Board of AHA Centre on 25 and 26 November 2020.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the meetings were held virtually this year. In 2019, the 7th AMMDM and 8th COP to AADMER took place in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar.
About the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Disaster Management (AMMDM)
The AMMDM is mandated to ensure functioning administration of directives, agreements, decisions and other relevant action lines pertinent to the work of disaster management cooperation in the region.
The meeting aims to promote a synergised effort in disaster management among ASEAN ministerial bodies and cooperation with ASEAN Dialogue Partners, international organisations and other relevant stakeholders.
The first AMMDM was held on 7 December 2004 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia and is convened annually by a rotating chair.
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