19/06/2012 – Between 18 and 22 June, DG ECHO is hosting 14 high-level delegates from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) working in the field of disaster management. The visit aims at enhancing cooperation on crisis management as well as disaster risk reduction activities. Wishing to increase cooperation on preparedness and response to disasters, the exchange of best practices and knowledge sharing will benefit both parties.
The visit will provide ASEAN with an opportunity to learn more about how the EU coordinates disaster management with its Member States. Such knowledge could potentially be applied by ASEAN and its member countries in their disaster response processes. The ASEAN Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster Management (AHA centre), not unlike the EU's Monitoring and Information Centre (MIC), facilitates and coordinates disaster management activities among its member countries and relevant international organisations. South-East Asian countries are increasingly aware that increased regional and international cooperation is key to developing their capacity to prepare for and deal with disasters.
The visit to Brussels is a follow-up of Commissioner Georgieva's visit to the ASEAN Secretariat in September 2011. The encounter will enable the EU to become better acquainted with the functioning of the AHA centre and ASEAN's approach to disaster management, and to further establish contacts with ASEAN Disaster Management authorities. A recent example of EU-ASEAN cooperation in crisis response was the tsunami that hit Indonesia on 11 April 2012. At the time, contacts were immediately established between the MIC and the AHA centre so that they could follow the event together. Luckily, on this occasion, no dangerous tsunami waves materialised.