JAKARTA, 16 November 2016 – The ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management (AHA Centre) is holding a series of events to mark its 5th anniversary. The first AHA Centre Executive Programme (ACE Programme) Annual Conference kicked off in Jakarta yesterday bringing together all graduates of the ACE Programme to provide policy inputs, recommendations and alternative solutions to the actual and potential challenges of ASEAN regional mechanism on disaster management.

“The programme draws from ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response that aspires ASEAN to become the centre for excellence and a thought leader in disaster management. And the leaders in mind are none other than graduates of the ACE programme,” said Vongthep Arthakaivalvatee, Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community, during his opening remarks.

During the conference, the participants were divided into small groups to stimulate thought-provoking discussion.  At the end of the discussion, they produced a policy input with the theme “Leadership and Innovation on Disaster Management in ASEAN.”

The ACE Programme is a comprehensive capacity-building programme on disaster management supported by the Government of Japan. “We have cooperated especially in the area of strengthening regional capacities in preparing for and responding to disasters. We hope the conference could make some additional contributions to the ASEAN mechanism on disaster management,” said Kazuo Sunaga, the Ambassador of Japan to ASEAN.