Published: 08 June 2021
Excellencies from ASEAN Member States and the ASEAN Secretariat,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
A very good morning.
1. It gives me great pleasure to deliver the opening remarks at the Launch of the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER) Work Programme 2021 – 2025 & the 6th AADMER Partnership Conference. Singapore is honoured to host today’s event as the Chair of the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Disaster Management (AMMDM) and the ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management (ACDM).
DISASTER MANAGEMENT IN THE AGE OF COVID-19
2. We are gathered virtually today in spite of the challenges that we are facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has unveiled the complex interdependencies that underpin our societies. It has also summoned all agencies and actors to come together to address multi-dimensional issues, extending beyond the health sector. Against the backdrop of COVID-19, we must continue to advance our collective efforts in mitigating disaster risks and sharpening disaster management capabilities.
3. The ASEAN region is constantly reminded of the deadly forces of nature. In 2020, Viet Nam, Cambodia, Laos and the Philippines were battered by a series of catastrophic typhoons, severe storms and floods. The onus is thus upon us, as a region, to work towards disaster risk reduction, capability and capacity building, and forge partnerships.
4. The AADMER Work Programme, or AWP, outlines a detailed series of structured activities with disaster management priorities in ASEAN, over five-year periods. The mission of AWP 2021-2025 is to enhance and support ASEAN’s disaster risk reduction and disaster management capabilities through inter-sectoral cooperation, capacity building, scalable innovation, resource mobilisation, new partnerships, and stronger coordination among ASEAN Member States.
5. The ACDM had ensured that the AWP was aligned, not only with regional agreements and documents, but also with relevant global agreements such as the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015 – 2030; the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, and the UN 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development. This ensures the relevance of the AWP, regionally and internationally.
6. We look forward to working hand-in-hand with our ASEAN partners and humanitarian actors to bring together expertise in our areas of specialisation and provide support to one another. We also thank our partners who have been steadfast in their contributions towards realising the outcomes of the previous AWPs.
7. ASEAN has achieved good progress in the field of disaster risk management, manifested in the form of projects and initiatives that have directly benefitted the peoples of ASEAN. We must continue to join efforts to further enhance the disaster-resiliency of the region, making our region even safer for all, leaving no one behind.
8. Congratulations on the launch of the AADMER Work Programme 2021 – 2025! We look forward to having all of us onboard the mission, towards making “One ASEAN, One Response” a reality.
9. Thank you. Take care and stay safe.