Thursday, May 30, 2013

ASEAN prioritizes disaster management, emergency response


HANOI, May 30 (Xinhua) -- Disaster management and emergency response are among top priorities of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)'s members and partners.
The statement was made by Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung at the opening ceremony of the second meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP-2) to the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER) in capital Hanoi on Thursday.

In recent years, natural disasters occurred more frequently and unexpectedly with stronger scale and density, especially sea level rise and saline intrusion, Dung said.

The signing of the AADMER has created legal framework to strengthen cooperation in natural disasters prevention and mitigation in the region, and the first phase of the agreement ( 2010-2012) has recorded encouraging results.

During the conference, which will define the directions for the second phase of the agreement (2013-2015), participants are expected to focus on discussion of mobilizing resources to fulfill projects, concretizing commitments into each country member's national development programs and the restoring of the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Disaster Management (AMMDM).

Dung expressed his belief that with high-level political commitments and efforts of the regional countries, the goal of establishing an ASEAN Community with strong resilience in facing disasters will be fulfilled.

In Vietnam, natural disasters killed around 300 people annually in the past 10 years, causing losses roughly equal to 1.5 percent of its annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP). 

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