Thirteen disaster management officers from ASEAN Member States' National Disaster Management Offices (NDMO) completed the First Batch of the AHA Centre Executive Programme (ACE Programme).
“During the six months together, all of you experienced interesting and rewarding moments. I encourage all of you to continue the relationship you have built and to participate actively in giving life to our vision of ‘ASEAN responding as one,’” stated H.E. Le Luong Minh, Secretary-General of ASEAN, at the closing ceremony.
The ACE Programme, designed to prepare future leaders of disaster management in ASEAN, is considered the most intensive disaster management training in the region. It required participants to commit to six months of training covering various disaster management and leadership topics.
“Through this Programme, we expect that the Officers would develop skills and knowledge required to take leadership roles in disaster management in ASEAN Region,” remarked Mr. Said Faisal, Executive Director of the AHA Centre. According to him, people-to-people network is crucial in facilitating the processes of disaster management operations. “AHA Centre designed the Programme in the way that it could foster cooperation and teamwork amongst the Officers, which further enhances the networks and connectivity,” Faisal added.
SG Minh noted that “the ASEAN region is one of the world’s most prone to natural disasters.” He said that “the region’s experience from responding to various disasters demonstrates that ASEAN, with support from partners, is an effective coordinating mechanism that facilitates and spearheads the delivery of assistance to affected countries.”
The training was conducted through classroom sessions, direct experience working at the AHA Centre, and field simulation exercises mostly held in Indonesia. To understand how emergency logistics is managed and operated, the Officers were immersed in an intensive humanitarian logistics training held at the warehouse of the Disaster Emergency Logistics System for ASEAN (DELSA) located in Subang, Malaysia. Participants also gained opportunities to learn about disaster management systems from other countries outside the region through visits to Japan and New Zealand and to pursue an advanced leadership course.
Ambassador of Japan to ASEAN, Mr. Koichi Aiboshi, in his remarks stated, “I hope ACE Programme Officers will improve disaster response capacity of each country and enhance regional network after they go back to their home countries.”
The ACE Programme is a long-term commitment of the AHA Centre, ACDM and the Government of Japan which provides support through the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF). It is set for implementation in three batches, targeting 60 new disaster management champions across ASEAN.