Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. Earth Science News .




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



Asia forges agreement towards joint disaster taskforce

by Staff Writers
Singapore (AFP) July 24, 2008
Asia's top security forum agreed Thursday on military exercises aimed at forging a regional taskforce to deal with calamities like those that struck Myanmar and China this year.

The ASEAN Regional Forum resolved two years ago to develop guidelines for joint disaster relief, but the confused response to the Myanmar cyclone showed up the fact that little has been done since then.

Singapore Foreign Minister George Yeo said Thursday's meeting of the 27-nation security dialogue, which takes in the 10-member Southeast Asian bloc as well as the US, China and Russia, had gone "quite deep" into the issue.

He said that as well as endorsing a joint US-Philippines disaster exercise, the ministers had established procedures on deploying military resources and "even having designated forces in standby readiness".

"It makes a lot of sense to conduct such exercises, you don't want to be working together for the first time when there are natural disasters," Yeo told a press conference.

"If you have practised before, if you know the radio frequencies, if you share a common language and have common procedures, then you can act so much more effectively."

Yeo said that as the host of the ARF meeting, Singapore encouraged other countries to join the US-Philippines exercise.

An official told AFP that the exercise in the disaster-prone country could begin next year.

"The Philippines and the US have initiated discussions on potential sites and dates, identified logistical procedures and requirements" and looked at proposed rules for participation, said the ARF chairman's statement, obtained by AFP.

Disaster preparedness has risen high on the regional agenda after Cyclone Nargis struck military-ruled Myanmar and an earthquake in southwest China together left more than 200,000 people dead or missing in May.

ASEAN was criticised for failing to pressure Myanmar to open its borders to foreign relief workers in the immediate aftermath of the cyclone, but won over many of its critics by eventually leading a joint international aid effort.

The US sent four US Navy ships loaded with relief supplies and aircraft to the coast of Myanmar after the cyclone but the junta -- notoriously mistrustful of the West -- rejected their help and that of other foreign militaries.

Yeo stressed that "no aid could be forced on any other country" and highlighted differences between Myanmar's response and that of Indonesia after the 2004 tsunami hits its province of Aceh.

"In Myanmar, the warships carrying supplies anchored off its waters caused confusion, created distrust which impeded the flow of international aid to Myanmar at that time," he said.

"In the case of Indonesia after the tsunami, foreign forces were welcomed with no impediments and the result was great speed for bringing assistance to the affected areas."

ARF foreign ministers adopted a statement on disaster management and emergency response when they met in 2006, two years after the tsunami killed 220,000 people in nations around the region.

The agreement called for "operating procedures" to be drawn up on civilian and military cooperation for humanitarian operations, and an inventory of military transport assets available in emergencies. Those calls were not followed up by action.

ASEAN also agreed in 2004 to establish a joint humanitarian relief centre in Jakarta, but that is still not in place, while a 2005 pact on disaster management has not been fully implemented.

"We've got to be all together better prepared to help out in a crisis in any one of our countries," New Zealand Foreign Minister Winston Peters said Thursday.

Community
Email This Article
Comment On This Article

Share This Article With Planet Earth
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit
YahooMyWebYahooMyWeb GoogleGoogle FacebookFacebook



Related Links
Bringing Order To A World Of Disasters
A world of storm and tempest
When the Earth Quakes



Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News


Asia's disaster response in spotlight at security talks
Singapore (AFP) July 21, 2008
Two years after Asia's top security forum vowed to develop guidelines for joint disaster relief, precious little has been done and hundreds of thousands more have died in calamities around the region.







  • Chinese Earthquake Provides Lessons For Future
  • Asia forges agreement towards joint disaster taskforce
  • Asia's disaster response in spotlight at security talks
  • Thousands evacuated as storm hits China: state media

  • Limes May Help Cut CO2 Levels Back To Pre-Industrial Levels
  • Ontario joins US carbon trading clan
  • Australia's Rudd hits out at critics of carbon trading scheme
  • Australia to set up carbon trading scheme by 2010

  • NASA Works To Improve Short-Term Weather Forecasts
  • NASA's Deep Impact Films Earth As An Alien World
  • ESA To Consult The Science Community On Earth Explorer Selection
  • GeoEarthScope NorCal LiDAR Topography Data Available

  • Dubai's Dynamic Tower Receives More Than 600 Reservation Requests
  • Denmark's Wind Power Industry
  • OPEC Crude Output Rises To 32.47 Million Barrels Per Day In June
  • Analysis: Chavez, Medvedev talk oil, arms

  • New Evidence Of Battle Between Humans And Ancient Virus
  • Malaria Millennium Development Goal Unlikely To Be Met
  • A Viral Cloaking Device
  • Using Biostatistics To Detect Disease Outbreaks

  • The Genetics Of The White Horse Unraveled
  • Machine Evolution
  • Mangroves Key To Saving Lives
  • Researchers Explore The Genetic Basis Of Social Behavior In Ants

  • Mafia rubbish dumps seized as Berlusconi declares Naples clean
  • Peru fears environmental mining disaster
  • 80 percent of Vietnam factories breach pollution rules: study
  • Boeing And Alenia Support Composite Industrial Recycling Plant

  • Outdoor Enthusiasts Scaring Off Native Carnivores In Parks
  • Research Publications Online: Too Much Of A Good Thing
  • Archaeologists Trace Early Irrigation Farming In Ancient Yemen
  • Do We Think That Machines Can Think

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2007 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement