PANO – The second meeting of the conference to the parties to the ASEAN agreement on disaster management and emergency response was officially opened on the morning of May 30th in Hanoi. Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, ASEAN Secretary-General Le Luong Minh and representatives of the 10 ASEAN nations attended the opening section.
Addressing the meeting, the Vietnamese Prime Minister said that natural disasters have happened more often, unpredictably, more intensively and more extensively in recent years. These included tidal rise, intensive salt intrusions, earthquakes and tsunami with increasingly devastating degrees occurring in the region. Some nations, which saw natural disasters only occasionally in the past, now regularly suffer the consequences of natural disasters.
At present, disaster management is always one of ASEAN’s cooperation priorities. The signing of the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response has created an important legal framework for efforts to boost cooperation in preventing and relieving natural disasters in the region.
The Prime Minister said that regional nations have made encouraging results in the implementation of the first phase (2010-2012) of the Agreement.
According to him, the conference was a chance for regional nations to review the results of the first phase and draw up directions for the implementation of the second phase (2013-2015).
The Prime Minister suggested that the meeting should focus discussion on the following issues:
First, measures to boost close relation and coordination between ASEAN disaster management agencies and other involved agencies within the framework of regional forums, like ADMM and ARF. Secondly, effectively mobilizing resources to implement specific projects and gain practical results. Thirdly, ASEAN nations should concretize agreements and commitments on cooperation in managing disasters at the regional level, and put them in national development programmes of each member nation.
The Prime Minister also stated: “With the serious political commitments of all member nations and common efforts across the region, we will surely meet the target to build an ASEAN Community able to effectively respond to disasters.”
Translated by Thu Nguyen