The member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are geographically located in one of the world´s most disaster-prone regions. The region is exposed to all types of natural hazards, including typhoons, floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, landslides, forest-fires, and epidemics. In July 2005, the member states endorsed the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER) to promote regional cooperation and collaboration in reducing disaster losses and joint emergency response to disasters in the ASEAN region. To prepare for its implementation, the ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management (ACDM) organises the annual ASEAN Regional Disaster Emergency Response Simulation Exercise (ARDEX), together with the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management (AHA Centre) as part of the “One ASEAN, One Response” Strategy. The ARDEX intends to test, evaluate and review the ASEAN Standby Arrangements and Standard Operating Procedures (SASOP) to strengthen the collaboration between the member states and with relevant United Nations and other international organisations.
Within the framework of the GIDRM, GIZ, the Federal Office of Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance (BBK and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, have provided their technical expertise and experience to lay the foundation for high-quality planning, execution and evaluation of the ARDEX in 2016 and its implementation in the future. The ARDEX 2016 is hosted from 26 November to 1 December 2016 by the Government of Brunei Darussalam. In his opening address, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Home Affairs, Awang Haji Mohd Abdoh bin Dato Seri Setia Haji Abdul Salam, emphasised the importance of such exercise “to test and harmonise the national Standard Operating Procedures and its interoperability as well as identify gaps to ensure better coordination to facilitate the entry of international humanitarian aid”.
To ensure these objectives, GIDRM jointly develops a standardised referee system, including a manual and a training course to evaluate the member states’ performance during the exercise. In addition, GIDRM supports the deployment of a Map Action team and organizes inputs on Inclusive Disability Awareness in collaboration with DiDRRN. BBK will present the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, a training session on Crisis Communication for Senior Executives will conclude GIDRM´s contributions to ARDEX 2016. In 2017, the ARDEX will be hosted by the Government of Indonesia. The GIDRM will seek further opportunities to continue its collaboration with the ASEAN Secretariat and its AHA Centre within the framework of the current AADMER work programme 2016 to 2020.