In his speech, the Deputy Prime Minister said that the ARF DiREx was an important platform for instilling trust and confidence, enhancing understanding, and building the capacity and expertise of its members in dealing with emerging challenges in the region.
He added that the ARF DiREx was one of the most inclusive of simulation exercises in the Asia Pacific region, involving the participation of multiple agencies from member nations, including civilians and military personnel, as well as local and international humanitarian players.
"The recent tragedy that befell Nepal has opened our eyes to the need to focus our efforts on being prepared to handle disasters in the region,” he said.
The main focus of the ARF DiREx 2015 is to test civil-military coordination efforts, create synergy, and expedite efforts towards supporting the efficient implementation of the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER) as the sole platform for disaster management in the region.
The ARF DiREx 2015 will also test the readiness and resilience of the region in addressing 10 specific challenges such as strengthening the effective utilisation of ASEAN standby arrangements for disaster relief and emergency response, implementing effective operations to enhance regional cooperation in disaster management, addressing the specific needs of victims in disaster areas, and managing the media.
Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) is one of the public organisations involved in hosting the ARF DiREx 2015, which is co-chaired by Malaysia and China.
The membership of the ARF comprises a total of 27 nations. Amongst these are Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia, Cambodia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, and the Philippines.
Among those in attendance during the launching ceremony were China’s State Councillor, Mr. Wang Yong; Kedah Menteri Besar, Dato’ Seri Mukhriz Mahathir; Perlis Menteri Besar, Dato’ Seri Azlan Man; Deputy Foreign Minister, Dato’ Hamzah Zainudin, and senior government officials and delegates from ARF member countries.
Translated by Nur Ida Faradilla binti Aziz
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