Saarc Agreement On Rapid Response To Natural Disasters

JAKARTA, 27 January 2015 – “Recognizing that natural disasters cross borders, strengthening relations between Southeast Asia and South Asia is an urgent need,” said Alicia Dela Rosa Bala, ASEAN Deputy Secretary General, during a political visit by officials from the South Asian Regional Cooperation Association (SAARC). The visit of the ASEAN secretariat is part of a week-long exchange of studies involving some 30 officials from ASARC Member States, the ASAC Disaster Management Centre (SDMC) and the SAARC secretariat. The aim of the agreement is to “establish effective regional disaster response mechanisms to significantly reduce disaster damage to human lives and the social, economic and environmental assets of the contracting parties and to jointly address disaster emergencies through a concerted national effort and enhanced regional cooperation.” The exchanges also included visits to the ASEAN Humanitarian Coordination Centre (AHA) to learn about ASEAN`s regional civil protection mechanisms and a workshop at the political level. It aims to draw lessons from ASEAN`s experience in managing an effective and coordinated response to disasters, particularly in the creation and implementation of the AHA Centre. His Excellency Arjun Bahadur Thapa, Secretary General of SAARC, as head of the delegation, said: “Regional cooperation between ASEAN and ASACRC for disaster management could be a springboard for greater cooperation between the two regions.” India and Switzerland have signed an agreement on strengthening cooperation in the prevention of natural disasters and assistance in the event of a major disaster or emergency. The aim of the agreement was to define detailed procedures for the “Swiss government to offer and make available to the Indian government the humanitarian aid unit of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation in the affected area, subject to the acceptance of an offer by the Indian government.” The Indian government and the Government of the Russian Federation signed the Emergency Management Cooperation Agreement at the 11th Summit of the Annual Idorusian Meeting in New Delhi on 21 December 2010. The main areas and forms of cooperation are: information exchange, early warning, risk assessment, joint conferences, seminars, workshops, specialist training, mutual assistance in the provision of technical equipment and equipment, mutual assistance to improve early warning systems and capacity building of both states in emergency preparedness, prevention and response, planning and implementation of emergency preparedness actions prevention and reaction, etc. Delegates were thanked for learning from ASEAN`s experience in responding to natural disasters. They noted that the ASEAN Convention on Disaster Management and Emergency Measures (AADMER) as a political backbone for disaster management facilitates cooperation between and between ASEAN member states. As the operational driving force behind the agreement, the AHA Centre has facilitated ASEAN`s joint response to natural disasters in the region since its inception in November 2011.

India became a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in 2017. The CSM is a Eurasian political, economic and security organization. In addition to India, SoZ has seven other member states (China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan) and four observer states (Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran and Mongolia). Among other things, the CSR Member States have concluded a mutual disaster relief agreement, which calls for mutual assistance between CSSC countries to deal with disasters.