14th ARF Inter-Sessional Meeting on Disaster Relief to be Held

February 9, 2015

  1. 1. On February 12 and 13, the 14th ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) Inter-Sessional Meeting on Disaster Relief (ISM on DR) will be held in Tokyo.

    2. With the participation of practioners from ARF members, the meeting will provide an opportunity to exchange views, based on the latest initiatives taken by each country, on regional frameworks, activities, and cooperation for humanitarian aid and disaster relief (HA/DR) from both non-military and military perspectives. In addition, Japan will brief on the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction to be held in Sendai next month and its own initiatives on the “mainstreaming of disaster risk reduction.” Currently, the ARF-ISM on DR is co-chaired by Japan, China, and Myanmar. This meeting is expected to contribute to strengthening cooperation among ARF members, international organizations, and regional frameworks, and also to further enhancing collaboration for disaster relief.

    3. In addition to the ARFmember countries, some international organizations, including the ASEAN Secretariat and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), are scheduled to participate in the meeting. From the Japanese side, officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Defense, and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will attend the meeting. Mr. Kazuyuki Nakane, Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, will deliver his remarks at the meeting.

    Reference 1: the ARF Inter-Sessional Meeting on Disaster Relief

    (1) Within the ARF framework, this is one of the inter-sessional meetings that has been held most continuously. The first meeting was held in 1997 (in total, 13 meetings preceding to this meeting have been held).

    (2) The was temporarily suspended, but was reconvened from 2005 following the major earthquake off the cost of Sumatra and tsunami in the Indian Ocean at the end of 2004, which increased the regional awareness of disaster relief.

    (3) Currently the meeting is co-chaired by Japan, China, and Myanmar. The pervious meeting was held in February 2014 at Chengdu, China. The holding of this meeting in Japan was approved at the 21st ARF Ministerial Meeting last year.

    Reference 2: ARF members (26 countries and the EU: including North Korea)

    • ASEAN members (Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Singapore, Viet Nam, Laos, Myanmar, and Cambodia)
    • Non-ASEAN members (Japan, the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Republic of Korea, North Korea, Mongolia, China, Russia, India, Pakistan, Timor-Leste, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka)
    • The EU