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On the morning of October 12, in Ha Long city, Quang Ninh province, the opening ceremony of the 11th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Disaster Management (AMMDM) and commemoration ceremony of the International Day of Natural Disaster Risk Reduction & Day ASEAN Disaster Management took place.

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Minh Hoan - Standing Deputy Head of the National Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control attended and chaired the meeting. Attending the event were ASEAN Deputy Secretary General Ekkaphab Phanthavong, 5 Ministers, 8 Deputy Ministers in the field of disaster management from ASEAN member states and regional partners (including China, Japan, and ROK). Timor Leste attended as an observer.

The meeting was also attended by more than 150 delegates including officials of ASEAN member states’ NDMO, representatives of ministries and branches that are members of Vietnam National Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control, and representatives of a number of units under Vietnam Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Before the 11th AMMDM, all delegates commemorated the International Day of Natural Disaster Risk Reduction - ASEAN Disaster Management Day (October 13, 2023). In his speech, Minister Le Minh Hoan affirmed: "Today, we all understand that natural disasters are not just a concern of one country or one region. Therefore, with 10 ASEAN countries - and 11 countries in the future with the participation of Timor Leste, uniting as a bloc, joining hands to share in times of trouble as well as being prepared in terms of human and material resources, mutual support mechanisms are extremely necessary. The saying "If you want to go fast, go alone - if you want to go far, go together" is true to our goal of strengthening ASEAN, building communities with high resilience and sustainable recovery in the face of natural disasters and catastrophes. This is also the spirit of ASEAN leaders in the Declaration of One ASEAN, One Response."

According to the rotation order of ASEAN countries, Vietnam carries out the task of chairing the ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management (ACDM) in 2023 with the theme "From the response to early action and strengthening resilience - ASEAN moves towards the goal of global leadership in natural disaster management”. Commenting on the meaning of the topic, Minister Le Minh Hoan said: "Early action is a new concept, but in essence, these are activities in the stage of prevention and response to natural disasters that agencies and organizations working on natural disaster prevention and control have been and are being implemented.

 Recognizing the superiority and progress of early action in disaster management, ASEAN and its dialogue partners have developed and adopted the ASEAN Framework on Anticipatory Action in Disaster Management to orient and implement initiatives and support for anticipatory action based on early forecasts and warnings, accelerating ASEAN's efforts in building a self-reliant and resilient ASEAN community, aiming to become a leading mechanism in disaster management”.

Following Minister Le Minh Hoan, Ministers and Deputy Ministers of ASEAN member states gave speeches on the theme of 2023. The speeches all expressed consensus towards the goal of strengthening anticipatory action in ASEAN to reduce natural disaster risks, thereby improving the effectiveness of regional cooperation, and gradually realizing the goal of becoming a global leadership cooperation mechanism in the field of disaster management. At the same time, recognizing and appreciating the host country Vietnam for its initiative to promote the development of the Ha Long Declaration on "Strengthening anticipatory action in disaster management". The declaration affirms the commitment of the Ministers of ASEAN member states to strengthen the implementation of anticipatory action in disaster management in the ASEAN region, especially implementing the three main pillars, including: (1) Risk information, forecasts and early warning system; (2) Planning, operations and implementation and (3) Leveraging pre-arranged financial resources.

In addition to officially adopting the Ha Long Declaration, the 11th AMMDM also focused on discussing contents, including: Future operational orientation for the Board of Directors of the AHA Centre; financial rules of the AADMER fund; recognization of the ASEAN Leaders' Declaration on Sustainable Resilience adopted at the 43rd ASEAN Summit in Indonesia; Update on the situation of ASEAN humanitarian assistance to Myanmar.