JAKARTA, 28 March 2018 - Senior officials from relevant ASEAN sectoral bodies who have a stake in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief gathered in Jakarta today to deliberate on ASEAN’s future direction in disaster management and emergency response amidst the rise of complex emergencies and human-induced disasters in the region. Secretary-General of ASEAN Dato’ Lim Jock Hoi and Chair of the ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management Dato’ Haji Muhammad Yusoff bin Wazir graced the two-day event which was convened on March 27 to 28.

Officially dubbed as the ASEAN Senior Officials Multi-Sectoral Workshop on the Implementation of the One ASEAN One Response Declaration and Review of the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER), it aims to further strategise the implementation of the One ASEAN One Response, provide clarity to the provisions of the AADMER to which the Declaration is anchored and improve cross sectoral coordination to support the Secretary-General of ASEAN as the ASEAN Humanitarian Assistance Coordinator.

“The ASEAN Declaration on One ASEAN, One Response: ASEAN Responding to Disasters as One in the Region and Outside the Region is the political commitment to harness the individual and collective strengths of different sectors and stakeholders in ASEAN to effectively respond to disasters,” said SG Dato’ Lim in his opening remarks. “Materializing One ASEAN One Response aspirations needs stronger coordination and willingness among ASEAN Member States to work closely with the ASEAN Secretariat and the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management (AHA Centre),” added Dato’ Yusoff.

Executive Director of the AHA Centre Ms. Adelina Kamal reiterated that “the workshop provides a good opportunity to gather different sectors in ASEAN to help operationalise the vision and strategy of One ASEAN One Response. The AHA Centre as the home of One ASEAN One Response looks forward to working with partners and stakeholders.”

ASEAN sectors which participated in the workshop include representatives from disaster management, foreign affairs, military/defense, social welfare, and members of the Committee of Permanent Representatives to ASEAN. In addition to ASEAN sectors, the workshop also noted the role of leading humanitarian actors in disaster and emergency response such as the United Nations’ Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the International Federation of the Red Cross, the AADMER Partnership Group, as well as the AHA Centre.

ASEAN Leaders signed the Declaration on “One ASEAN One Response: ASEAN Responding to Disasters as One in the Region and Outside the Region” at the 28th ASEAN Summit in Lao PDR on 7 September 2016. The declaration laid out high-level and solid political commitments of ASEAN to achieve faster response, mobilize greater resources and establish stronger coordination to ensure ASEAN’s collective response to disasters by 2020.