Jakarta, 16 March 2012
1. The First Meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER), held in Jakarta on 15-16 March 2012, was chaired by the Coordinating Minister for People’s Welfare of the Republic of Indonesia, H.E. Agung Laksono, as Chair of COP in 2012. The Meeting was attended by Ministers in charge of disaster management or their representatives from all ASEAN Member States and the Secretary-General of ASEAN.
2. The COP was the first meeting held after the AADMER entered into force on 24 December 2009. It was held following the direction of the ASEAN Leaders at the 19th ASEAN Summit in November 2011 and the signing of the Agreement on the Establishment of the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management (AHA Centre) at the sidelines of the Summit.
3. At the outset, Thailand as the new elected Chair of the ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management (ACDM) presented a progress report on the implementation of AADMER. The COP noted several major milestones that have been achieved, including adoption of the AADMER Work Programme for 2010-2015, implementation of various flagship projects under the Work Programme, ongoing cooperation with ASEAN Dialogue Partners, United Nations, Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and the civil society, in particular the AADMER Partnership Group (APG), operationalisation of ASEAN Standard Operating Procedure for Regional Standby Arrangements and Coordination of Joint Disaster Relief and Emergency Response (ASEAN-SASOP), and deployment of ASEAN-Emergency Rapid Assessment Team (ASEAN-ERAT) in disaster emergencies.
4. The COP adopted the Rules of Procedure for Meetings of the COP as the guiding principles to organise, chair and host the COP. In line with practices of other ASEAN ministerial meetings, the host country would serve as chair of the COP. The chairmanship is for one year and will be rotated alphabetically.
5. To support the effective implementation of AADMER, the COP agreed to set up financial procedures for the ASEAN Disaster Management and Emergency Relief Fund, and expected that Member States provide voluntary contributions to the Fund soonest and preferably on a regular basis. These will provide the impetus to facilitate ASEAN’s collective response to disasters and support the implementation of AADMER Work Programme, including providing additional resources for the AHA Centre. The COP also welcomed contributions from ASEAN Dialogue Partners and international donor community to contribute to the Fund.
6. To operationalise the newly-established AHA Centre, the COP agreed to the annual and equal contributions for the AHA Centre Fund to provide sustainable resources for the operationalisation of the Centre, and expected that contributions for 2012 can be made soon as possible. The COP also appreciated the contribution by the Indonesian Government as well as ASEAN Dialogue Partners, in particular Australia, European Union, Japan, New Zealand and the United States of America, and welcomed the incoming support from other partners for the establishment of the AHA Centre.
7. The COP expected that all Member States would submit their instruments of notification by June 2012 the latest, marking the entry into force of the Agreement on the Establishment of the AHA Centre.
8. The COP endorsed the ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management (ACDM), who has been instrumental in operationalising the AADMER and in setting up the AHA Centre, to serve as the main subsidiary body under the COP and to function as the Governing Board for the AHA Centre. The COP welcomed ACDM’s decision to appoint Mr. Said Faisal as the Executive Director for the AHA Centre for a three (3) year-period. The COP tasked the Executive Director for the AHA Centre, with the support of ASEAN Secretariat, to immediately set up the AHA Centre, utilising contributions from ASEAN Member States and Dialogue Partners.
9. The COP noted that there are a few challenges with regard to the implementation of AADMER, particularly in terms of institutionalisation of AADMER at the national level, and ensuring that AADMER is utilised by other sectors and mechanisms in ASEAN as the common coordinating platform in disaster management.
10. In this regard, the COP re-affirmed that AADMER should remain as the main regional policy backbone and coordinating platform for disaster management in ASEAN. This is in line with the decision of ASEAN Leaders for other sectors and mechanisms related to disaster management in ASEAN, including those under ASEAN + 1, ASEAN + 3, East Asia Summit (EAS), ASEAN Regional Forum and ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM) and ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM Plus), to synchronise their policies using AADMER as the common platform to ensure the principles of ASEAN Centrality. The COP welcomed the interest of other EAS participating countries to cooperate in the area of disaster management, and tasked the ACDM to establish a working group, consisting of ASEAN Secretariat, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Australia as a representative of the EAS Participating Countries, to study the linkage between the AADMER Work Programme and the proposed EAS Work Plan on Disaster Management.
11. The COP appreciated the important role of the Secretary-General of ASEAN as the ASEAN Humanitarian Assistance Coordinator, and considered that such a role would be particularly critical in a large-scale disaster where high-level coordination would be required to mobilise resources within the region as well as from partners and the humanitarian community.
12. The COP expressed confidence for Thailand’s leadership as Chair of the ACDM and the Governing Board for the AHA Centre in 2012, and thanked Singapore for the impressive leadership in 2011.
13. The COP expressed appreciation to the Government of Indonesia for hosting the First Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the AADMER and the excellent arrangements made and hospitality provided.