ASEAN leaders sign declaration of One ASEAN One Response on Disasters

VIENTIANE — President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) and nine other ASEAN leaders have signed a declaration of One ASEAN One Response on Disasters in and out of this region.

The signing of the declaration is part of the agenda of the ASEAN leaders in the first day of the 28th ASEAN summit conference and the 29th ASEAN related summit meetings at the National Convention Center (NCC) in this Laotian capital city on Tuesday.

“The heads of state and government of ASEAN signed the declaration of One ASEAN One Response on Disaster to speed up ASEAN response in coping with disasters, mobilizing resources and coordination,” Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said in a news conference here on Tuesday night.

Retno said the declaration is needed to strengthen cooperation and improve coordination in the mechanism to overcome regional disasters.

One of the concrete forms in the declaration is to make more effective the mechanism of “ASEAN Humanitarian Assistance” (AHA Center), which has served as a special body to help any of ASEAN member countries beset by disasters.

Retno said the declaration of One ASEAN One Response is to strengthen cooperation in mitigating disaster already agreed earlier under the agreement on Management of Disasters and Response to Emergency (AADMER) signed in December 2007.

In 2011, ASEAN implemented the mandate of AADMER to set up AHA Center in Jakarta.

In addition to providing place and facility for the AHA Center, Indonesia contributed USD 600,000 in the first year of its operation to ASEAN humanitarian aid operation.

In the first day of the summit meeting, apart from signing the declaration, Jokowi attended the launch of the Master Plan of ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC) 2025 and ASEAN Integrity Working Plan. PNA/Antara/northboundasia.com