After almost two decades, the Philippines will host and chair the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) 2015 and convene the APEC Senior Officials (SOM2) on 10-21 May 2015. One among the wide-range of topics to be discussed will be emergency preparedness.
On 13 May, Undersecretary Alexander P. Pama, Administrator from the Office of Civil Defense and Executive Director, National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council gave the Welcome Message during the APEC Emergency Preparedness Working Group (EPWG) Meeting. Undersecretary Pama invited the EPWG to heighten and level up commitment to the task of building safe, climate change adaptive and disaster resilient communities across the region where business and economy plays a critical role.
“The recent earthquakes in Nepal further reinforce our view that disaster management is no longer an individual government’s job or a particular sector’s affair. It also underscores the growing need for inter-economic cooperation to sustain economic growth amidst the presence of these hazards, not only in the Asia Pacific region but the entire globe. This entails the adoption of a more holistic, comprehensive, integrated and proactive approach to disaster risk reduction and management,” says Undersecretary Pama.
He further stated that the Emergency Preparedness Working Group, through its meetings, remain a most effectual venue and forum to foster collaboration and knowledge-sharing to be able to improve the ways and means with which we protect trade, businesses and communities from the disturbances caused by disasters and facilitate economic growth in the Asia Pacific Region.
The relevant Expert Working Group will meet on 13-14 May; wherein one of the co-chairs of the group is Wei-Sen Li, who is heading the central agency responsible for disaster preparedness in Taipei, and who is also associated with IRDR’s International Centre of Excellence in that city. IRDR’s Executive Director R. Klein had been scheduled to speak about in a session dedicated to the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Action. The session will seek to connect the global momentum on disaster risk reduction from the 3rd World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction to other international agreements, including the World Humanitarian Summit 2016. Klein was scheduled to inform the meeting on how to make S&T more useful for government stakeholders in the follow-up to Sendai.