BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, 2 December 2016 – ASEAN takes another step to further strengthen its emergency response mechanism through the ASEAN Regional Disaster Emergency Response Simulation Exercise 2016 (ARDEX-16). This simulation exercise, which is slated from 29 November to 2 December, is being organized by the National Disaster Management Centre of Brunei Darussalam and the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management.

ARDEX-16 provides an opportunity to practice, evaluate and review the ASEAN Standby Arrangements and Standard Operating Procedures in responding to disasters in order to improve ASEAN’s collective emergency response mechanism. At the operational level, it aims to test coordination mechanism between the National Disaster Management Centre of Brunei Darussalam with the Joint Operations Coordinating Centre of ASEAN as well as with local and international humanitarian agencies such as the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

“This exercise will give emphasis on the operational tasking, deployment and coordination of rescue and relief efforts of participating teams from ASEAN Member States and relevant United Nations agencies as well as international organisations,” said Haji Awang Abu Bakar bin Haji Apong, Minister of Home Affairs of Brunei Darussalam.

“ARDEX will test and evaluate mechanisms pertaining to emergency response and disaster management, showcase our strengths in joint emergency response, and expose our shortcomings.…. Most importantly, ARDEX is designed to reflect on how well we are prepared and committed in assisting one another during the time of crises,” said Le Luong Minh, Secretary-General of ASEAN. The simulation exercise also tests and reviews the operability of the Secretary-General of ASEAN as the ASEAN Humanitarian Assistance Coordinator for a more effective and centralised ASEAN effort in disaster relief and humanitarian assistance.

Participants for ARDEX-16 are from emergency response forces of Brunei Darussalam; ASEAN Member States; response teams from the United Nations, international organisations and partners including private organisations in the spirit of One ASEAN One Response.