Diamond Hotel, Manila
5 June 2014

President Benigno S. Aquino III called on the participants and delegates of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Manila Conference to deepen the cooperation between Asia and Europe countries in formulating a new disaster risk reduction and management framework that will serve as the global strategy in handling massive-scale calamities.

“We all agree that we cannot sit idly by as the effects of climate change worsen. It is vital—now more than ever—that we mount a focused, international effort to address the threats posed by climate change, and build communities that are resilient in the face of disaster,” he said.

Dubbed “The Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Manila Conference Disaster Risk Reduction and Management: Post Haiyan—A way forward”, the ASEM delegates, led by European Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva of the International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crises Response, will forge a new global architecture that will embody new policies and principles based on the best practices on disaster risk reduction and management, calling it the ‘Tacloban Declaration’. This will replace the decade-long Hyogo Framework Action (HFA) adopted by ASEM as the global paradigm on DRRM that will expire next year.

Kicking off the 3-day ASEM Conference on disaster risk reduction, delegates together with scientists and government officials visited Eastern Visayas and held a town hall meeting with the local officials to evaluate the preparedness and rehabilitation of towns severely devastated by super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan).

Georgieva, who had visited Tacloban twice during the wake of Typhoon Yolanda and yesterday’s ASEM tour, expressed her huge admiration for the strength and resiliency of the Philippines. “What the administration has achieved in these six months is remarkable and is a lesson for all of us,” she added.

In a press statement released by the Department of Foreign Affairs yesterday, Georgieva announced that Europe has pledged €14 million (P2.4 billion) assistance fund to the victims of Typhoon Haiyan and to help rehabilitate central Philippines.

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