Coronavirus, ASEAN Symposium Calls for Better Disaster Management



Mahinda Arkyasa

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  • Representatives of ASEAN member-states gather for the ASEAN High-Level Symposium on Disaster Management

    Representatives of ASEAN member-states gather for the ASEAN High-Level Symposium on Disaster Management

    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - ASEAN Secretary-General Lim Jock Hoi officiated the ASEAN High-Level Symposium on Disaster Management, held from Tuesday, February 26 to  Wednesday, February 27, 2020, in the ASEAN Secretariat Building, South Jakarta.

    "This High-Level Symposium is another contribution to the ASEAN Community building efforts as it provides a platform for members of our sectoral bodies, practitioners, policymakers, and think-tanks to exchange views and ideas on pertinent issues related to disaster management," remarked ASEAN Secretary-General Lim Jock Hoi, on Tuesday, February 26, 2020.

    With ASEAN State Members being located in disaster-prone areas, the ASEAN Symposium revolves around calls for collaborative efforts to reinforce ASEAN State Members' cooperation and advance the regional mechanisms in place to ensure effectiveness in tackling disaster management efforts.

    "The ASEAN statements on the Bushfire Crisis in Australia and 'Statement of the Special ASEAN-China Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on the Coronavirus Disease 2019’ demonstrate our solidarity and commitment to ensure preparedness and safety of our people," said Lim Jock Hoi.

    In the Symposium, ASEAN's Secretary-General went on to highlight ASEAN's focus on the adoption of a more proactive and preventive approach as opposed to a reactive response. With programs, such as the ASEAN Disaster Risk Financing Insurance Roadmap, the ASEAN Guidelines on Disaster Responsive Social Protection, the ASEAN Safe School Initiative, the ASEAN Militaries Ready Group, and the ASEAN Regional Capacity in Disaster Health Management already in place, the ASEAN Secretary-General continued by expressing his hopes for ASEAN.

    "I believe these initiatives will deliver positive results when implemented in the spirit of 'One ASEAN, One Response'" exclaimed the Secretary-General. 

    Furthermore, in an effort to recognize the globality of disaster management, including the recent coronavirus outbreak, Ambassador of the Mission of the People’s Republic of China to ASEAN, H.E. Deng Xijun was also in attendance.

    "According to the latest data, both the numbers of newly confirmed and suspected cases have dropped significantly, from 1000 a day to three or four hundred. The situation outside of Hubei Province is even better," said Deng Xijun.

    The ASEAN High-Level Symposium on Disaster Management aims to facilitate better disaster management efforts through six thematic discussions, involving relevant stakeholders. The six thematic discussion includes the discussion on 'understanding the likelihood of prevalent risks, political dynamics of hazard and disaster policymaking in South-East Asia.' 

    Continuing on, the thematic discussions of 'Early Warning System and Effective Disaster Response Operations through Advanced Technology and Innovations' and 'Strengthening Community Resilience and Multi- Stakeholders Partnerships' concluded the first day.

    Discussions are set to continue the following day, February 27, 2020 on 'Advancing Disaster Risk Financing and Insurance to Enhance Regional Economic Resilience,' and 'Sufficient Recovery Plan, Rehabilitation and Build Back Better Strategy.' 

    The High-Level Symposium is set to be concluded with a discussion on 'Bridging Global and Regional Partnership on Disaster Management,' followed by a plenary session, led by the ASEAN Secretary-General.