H.E. Ms. Gillian Bird, Ambassador to ASEAN and Deputy Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Australia, visited the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management (AHA Centre) this afternoon.

Ambassador Gillian Bird was accompanied by Dr. Matt Hayne, Co-Director of Australia-Indonesia Facility for Disaster Reduction (AIFDR) and other officials from AusAID and AIFDR. The delegation was welcomed by the Executive Director of AHA Centre, Mr. Said Faisal and Ms. Adelina Kamal, the Head of Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance Division of the ASEAN Secretariat.

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The delegation was briefed by Mr. Said Faisal on the AHA Centre. Mr. Said Faisal also thanked Australia’s most recent support which is channeled through AUD 1 million allocation for the AHA Centre under the ASEAN-Australia Cooperation Arrangement.

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The visit was another testament of a strong and long-standing ASEAN-Australia partnership in a broad spectrum of areas, including disaster management. Australia’s commitment to support ASEAN’s disaster preparedness and disaster response capacities was reaffirmed by the ASEAN-Australia Cooperation Arrangement signed in 2010 to support the implementation of ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER), of which the AHA Centre is one of the foremost priorities.

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Australia is ASEAN’s very first Dialogue Partner. In 2014, ASEAN and Australia will be commemorating the 40th anniversary of Australia-ASEAN relations.

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