Deputy Interior Minister Sutee Markboon said that disasters have led to great losses of lives and property in the ASEAN region; therefore, ASEAN countries must join forces in building disaster resilience.
Mr. Sutee stressed the need for effective disaster management in his address at the "One ASEAN, One Response Roadshow and ASEAN Resilience Symposium," held in Bangkok on 10-11 September 2015.
The symposium was organized jointly by the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation and the ASEAN Coordinating Center for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management (AHA Center). The objective was to familiarize the participants with ASEAN's regional mechanisms on disaster management. It was also intended to introduce to them the "One ASEAN, One Response" vision, in which ASEAN Member States from all relevant sectors and stakeholders will unite as one, in responding to disasters.
Joining this event were members of relevant government agencies, the private sector, civil society organizations, academics, and representatives from ASEAN Member States’ embassies in Bangkok.
Mr. Sutee said that, at the regional level, Thailand has worked with other ASEAN partners in line with the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response, which provides the legal framework with which ASEAN will be able to respond jointly to disasters and to establish effective mechanisms to reduce losses to disasters.
At the national level, he said, relevant agencies have adopted the National Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Plan 2015 for their operations. The plan consists of four strategies. In the first strategy, emphasis is placed on prevention and the reduction of impacts from disasters. The second strategy seeks to integrate disaster management in emergency situations. The third strategy seeks to enhance the efficiency of rehabilitation on a sustainable basis. In the fourth strategy, Thailand will step up cooperation with the international community in disaster risk reduction.
Thailand has also incorporated the priorities for action in the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 into the National Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Plan. The priorities include understanding of all aspects of disaster risk, improved risk governance, investment in disaster risk reduction and better preparedness. The Sendai Framework was adopted in March 2015 at the Third United Nations World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, held in Sendai, Japan.
The Thai government attaches great importance to international cooperation in disaster risk reduction. It has implemented the National Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Plan 2015, along with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction in the context of Thai society.