| Azlan Othman |
“THE convening of the 2nd Asean Ministerial Meeting on Disaster Management (AMMDM) as the principal policy maker is very timely to the collective efforts of our region as we try to realise the establishment of the Asean Community in 2015.”
This was stated by the Minister of Home Affairs, Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Hj Awang Badaruddin bin Pengarah Dato Paduka Hj Awang Othman in his speech at the 2nd Asean Ministerial Meeting on Disaster Management (AMMDM) and the 3rd Meeting of the Conference of Parties (COP) to the Asean Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER), yesterday, shortly after receiving the chairmanship of AMMDM and AADMER from the previous chair, Vietnam.
Pehin Dato Ustaz Hj Awg Badaruddin added, “Now that we meet regularly, our meetings are pivotal in promoting regular dialogue with other Asean ministerial bodies to ensure our efforts towards building safer and disaster-resilient communities are synchronised. With your wisdom and strong support, let us chart our future cooperation, especially for our post 2015 strategy, both regionally and internationally.
“As part of the global community, we must also align our regional efforts to support the global goals. We should remain actively committed to the post-Hyogo Framework for Action.”
The minister also said the region has experienced many natural disasters in the last decade. These natural phenomena brought disastrous impacts to the region’s economy and people every year.
Since 2000, about 100 million people have been affected by natural disasters and have cost billions of dollars in damages, he added.
“Last year, Typhoon Haiyan hit our fellow member country the Philippines, and caused massive destruction particularly in Tacloban. The economic loss was tremendous. The number of lives lost and affected was immeasurable. No doubt, Asean is very prone to natural disasters and we remain vulnerable to the impacts they bring.
“At the same time, our region’s economic development is also fast, and these natural disasters could adversely affect our growth. Thus, it is of utmost importance that we take appropriate measures, may it be structurally, economically or socially, to minimise these adverse effects, thereby increasing Asean’s resilience.”
The 2nd AMMDM among others discussed synergy issues and coordination among sectoral bodies at the ministerial level. This is to ensure effective synchronisation and disaster response at the regional level.
The 3rd COP to the AADMER reviewed the status of implementation of Asean Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER), which has been signed by Asean member countries on July 26, 2006.
The meeting also discussed the level of development and progress made by the Asean Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management (AHA Centre) since the start of its operation in November 2001.
Brunei Darussalam was represented by the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs, Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Hj Awg Halbi bin Hj Mohd Yussof.
Also at the meeting were the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Home Affairs, Dato Paduka Hj Abdul Majid bin Mangarshah and Deputy Permanent Secretary, Awg Roslan bin Hj Taja’ah.