ISTANBUL, 23 May 2016 – The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) made a strong presence at the World Humanitarian Summit which opened today in Istanbul. Led by Secretary-General Le Luong Minh, the ASEAN delegation is comprised of high ranking officials from member states, the ASEAN Secretariat, and the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management. Its presence at this summit signals ASEAN’s commitment to the global effort to prevent and reduce human crises and suffering.

High level government leaders and representatives from international organisations, local communities, private sector, aid organisations and funding institutions have gathered in Istanbul for the two-day summit convened by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon. Building on the commitments made in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, this summit is expected to draw high level commitments from various humanitarian stakeholders in order to prevent and end human suffering more decisively, and with more capacity, resolve and resources as envisioned in the event’s guiding document – the Agenda for Humanity.

Secretary-General of ASEAN Le Luong Minh said “ASEAN commits to realize a community that engages and benefits the peoples, a community that is inclusive, sustainable, resilient, and dynamic.” He added that ASEAN will “engage peoples and communities as agents of their own response. We will work towards the establishment of a regional social protection protocol to ensure that the humanitarian action delivered responds to the needs and concerns of the peoples and communities.”

Secretary-General Minh, along with Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for Socio-Cultural Community Vongthep Arthakaivalvatee, made interventions at the summit’s High Level Leaders’ Roundtables and special sessions participated in by Heads of States, heads of delegations, and other persons of influence.

In collaboration with the UN, ASEAN is also organizing a side event on May 24 that will highlight lessons learnt, good practices and inter-operability between ASEAN and the UN, and the advantages of the partnership to other humanitarian stakeholders in the region. The session will feature speakers from both sides as well as from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management (the AHA Centre).

Meanwhile, Mr. Said Faisal, Executive Director of the AHA Centre and Director Adelina Kamal of ASEAN Secretariat will speak in side sessions at the summit.

Yesterday, ASEAN ministers in charge of disaster management had an informal meeting where they issued a joint statement in support of the Agenda for Humanity. The statement highlighted national leadership and regional partnership as key strategies of ASEAN for achieving a resilient ASEAN Community. Earlier, ASEAN opened its booth at the Exhibition Fair to showcase ASEAN experience and knowledge in disaster management and humanitarian actions.

 

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Romeo Arca Jr.

Head of Community Relations Division

ASEAN Secretariat

romeo.arca@asean.org

Twitter: @ArcaRomeo

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