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ASEAN

On January 6th 2005, an emergency ASEAN (Association of South-East Asian Nations) tsunami summit was held in Jakarta, Indonesia.

During the summit, there was a declaration by ASEAN members to unite together to strengthen relief efforts. As rescue efforts and relief coordination are especially crucial in the aftermath of the crisis.

"We, the Heads of State/Government, Special Envoys and Heads of regional as well as international organizations, who gathered here on 6 January 2005 in Jakarta, Indonesia, expressed solemnly our profound sorrow and our solidarity to overcome the unprecedented catastrophe befalling the Indian Ocean rim countries on 26 December 2004."

During the meeting, certain procedures were discussed to mitigate and reduce the extent of damage should such an incident occur again. They decided that the aid of the military and civilians could be enlisted as they would be invaluable. The military is disciplined and well-trained, whereas the local civilians could offer assistance and aid very quickly, given their proximity to the disaster.

An ASEAN Humanitarian Assistance Centre was also proposed and is part of the ASEAN Security Community Plan of Action. In addition, an ASEAN Disaster Information Sharing and Communication Network was also suggested to facilitate the transmission of information more quickly during times of emergency, which could save many lives.

Some of the proposals raised during the summit include the establishment of a "Regional Tsunami Early Warning Center on the Indian Ocean and the Southeast Asia region" and raising the level of education and public awareness on tsunami in Asia, starting from schools, so that the public would remain calm during future incidents and lesser damage would be dealt as a whole. They also agreed on the sharing and transfer of technology and information in building and managing a tsunami warning system and damage control.

The utilization of military and civilian personnel in disaster relief operation and an ASEAN Humanitarian Assistance Centre, as provided for in the ASEAN Security Community Plan of Action;

ASEAN Disaster Information Sharing and Communication Network, as provided for in the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community component of the Vientiane Action Programme;

A regional instrument on disaster management and emergency response.

Related Readings

References

  • Chinese Premier to attend ASEAN tsunami summit. Retrieved February 13, 2005, from http://www.newkerala.com/news-daily/news/features.php?action=fullnews&id=53876
  • Tsunami: ASEAN news watch. ASEAN. Retrieved February 13, 2005, from http://tsunami.aseansec.org/index.php?OP=NEWS&NEWS=110532623
  • Indian Ocean Tsunami - The EU Response: Fisheries. Retrieved April 26, 2005, fromhttp://europa.eu.int/comm/world/tsunami/early_warning.htm