Tacloban declaration to be signed by Asian, European nations

Posted at 06/01/14 5:57 PM

MANILA -- Members of the Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM) will meet this week to contribute to a Tacloban Declaration meant to pave the way for a new global model on disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM).

In an interview with radio dzRB, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said the Philippines will be hosting the ASEM Manila Conference that will begin on June 4.

"The Philippines aims to contribute to the new global architecture that will embody new policies and principles on disaster risk reduction management with the ASEM Manila Conference document to be called the Tacloban Declaration," he said.

ASEM delegates will also visit Tacloban City to meet with local government officials and leaders of non-government organizations. They will go to the Bislig Elementary School in Tanauan, Leyte as well as Barangay Pago, which is the site of a resettlement project for families displaced by the super typhoon.

"Also to be examined and discussed during the Manila Conference are the following: application of innovation, science and technology to policy practice; strengthening the role of the state and other disaster risk reduction management stakeholders in disaster response and coordination; improving the international response system through specialization and coordination; and recovering from disasters and building back better communities," he said.

The world has been focusing on the Philippines because of the major calamities in 2013. Last November, super typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan) claimed the lives of more than 6,000 in the Eastern Visayas.

"This is a timely development considering that the decade-old Hyogo Framework of Action (HFA) previously adopted by ASEM as the global paradigm on DRRM is about to end in 2015," Coloma noted.

The decade-long HFA described in detail the needed work from different sectors as part of a common system of coordination during disasters.

Expected to attend are at least 150 senior national and local government officials, scientists, academicians, policymakers, industry and business leaders, NGOs, leaders from the private sector, and representatives of regional and international organizations from 36 countries in Asia and Europe.

High-level dignitaries attending the conference include European Union Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid, and Crisis Kristalina Georgieva; Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General for Disaster Risk Reduction Margareta Wahlstrom; and Vietnam’s Vice Minister of Agriculture Hoàng V?n Th?ng.