Denpasar (22/08): The 7th APEC Senior Disaster Management Officials Forum (SDMOF) produces five-point statements and recommendations (outcomes) to be discussed at the APEC Summit October 2013. The meeting was attended by representatives from 12 APEC countries, including representatives from APEC 2013 SOM Chair Office, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), and the national private sector. It was held on August 21st-22nd 2013 in Bali, and was officially opened by Dr. Syamsul Maarif, The Chief of the National Agency for Disaster Management (BNPB), with theme “Improving Disaster Risk Reduction and Resiliency in the APEC region”
The meeting outcomes related to the risk reduction and increase resilience in disaster management in the region. Those five points are: (1) Support the work of Emergency Preparedness Working Group (EPWG) in order to increase the capacity of disaster risk reduction and emergency response, including support EPWG strategic work plan 2013-2016, (2) Encourage closer relationship and cooperation among APEC member countries, especially in helping disaster victims right after disaster occurs, (3) Enhance the capacity of APEC member countries in disaster risk reduction to be taken into agenda, particularly with regard to strengthening community resilience at the local level, (4) Emphasize importance of facilitating mobility for emergency response teams from APEC member countries in providing assistance to the other country during the disaster response, and (5) Encourage public-private partnerships as well as community-based approach in disaster risk reduction through capacity building related to disaster risk financing and insurance.
Deputy of Preparedness and Prevention, National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB), Dody Ruswandi, as the leader of the session said that one important recommendation that struggled by the Indonesian Government is facilitating the mobility of the disaster management personnel in providing international assistance, especially in terms of the immigration and customs (Emergency Response Travel Facilitation / ERTF). This initiative is one of Indonesia deliverable outcomes in APEC 2013, particularly related to disaster management.
The Indonesian government strongly emphasizes the importance of speed in delivering international assistance, among others personnel and logistic and tools, considering the golden period to save lives from disasters are often relatively short. Administrative obstacles were to be minimized. To support this initiative, in collaboration with Indonesian APEC Technical Assistance and Training Facility (TATF) has managed to put together a study on the procedures and policies of APEC member countries in receiving and sending international aid. This study will be finalized in September to be compromised in the next meeting of Concluding Senior Officials Meeting (CSOM) before the APEC summit 2013.
Furthermore, Dody said that APEC member countries reiterated their commitment to promote collective efforts to strengthen the resilience in business sector, encouraging the government partnerships, businesses, and the public, in order to improve disaster risk reduction and protecting the economic growth from any disturbances. This is consistent with the main theme of APEC 2013 “Resilient Asia Pacific, Engine of Global Growth”.
7th SDMOF concretely encouraged APEC member countries to look seriously what could be done to improve economic resilience towards disasters, including building a Business Continuity Planning (BCP), increase the Supply Chain Resilience, and increase in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) related to disaster management.
In the Chief of BNPB closing remarks read by Dody Ruswandi, the Indonesian government expressed gratitude for the support and involvement of many parties on the implementation of the 7th SDMOF during Indonesia’s chairmanship of APEC 2013. Thanks are conveyed to the delegation, representatives of international organizations, and other concerned parties.
Translated by Henrikus Adi Hernanto