1. I fully agree with many colleagues here that now it is high
time for APEC to act more vigorously to tackle with disasters.
I wish to take this opportunity to express the deepest sympathy
to and admiration of the ways that the peoples and Governments of many APEC
members have taken to respond to disasters, most notably the earthquake and
tsunami in Japan and the very recent floods in Thailand.
2. Today, I would like to share with you some of my thoughts on
First, there is no denying the
fact that natural disasters have now become an urgent issue that requires
resolute and timely actions. Our Asia-Pacific region is facing numerous
disasters with unseen frequency and intensity, severe damages and losses,
particularly to the most vulnerable segments of our population that is our women
The threat of natural disasters has been exacerbated by climate
change, man-made ecological degradation as well as the intertwined impacts of
other non-traditional security challenges.
The lessons learned from member economies show that, though we
are yet to be fully capable of controlling the unpredictable twists and turns of
nature, should we be well prepared and have vision as well as joint action, we
can mitigate the damage to property and losses of life associated with irregular
Second, APEC has made a right
decision in prioritizing human security and emergency preparedness in
Viet Nam supports â€œ APEC Strategy on Disaster Risk Reduction
and Emergency Response in the Asia-Pacific for 2009 - 2015â€ and projects
advocated by â€œthe APEC Taskforce on Emergency Responseâ€. All these endeavours
are meaningful to raising public awareness, enhancing member economies' capacity
and encouraging greater participation of the business community in preparedness
and resiliency efforts.
Together with the joint efforts, Viet Nam is actively
implementing the â€œNational Strategy for Disaster Prevention and Mitigation until
2020â€ with priority given to developing infrastructure and disaster prevention
systems, enhancing public awareness and incorporating disaster prevention and
mitigation issues into our educational materials. Therefore, the losses of life
resulted from natural disasters in Viet Nam have significantly reduced. A
â€œMemorandum of Understanding on the Enhanced Public-Private Partnership on
Disaster Risk Prevention and Reductionâ€ was just signed last month between the
Government of Viet Nam and Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
We will continue to attach importance to APEC cooperation in
this area. At a workshop held in Da Nang last July, APEC member economies shared
a number of valuable experiences and best practices, and proposed measures to
address abnormal flooding.
Third, for better response to
disasters, APEC should further promote projects on community awareness
enhancement, particularly for the youth and children. We also need to strengthen
cooperation in search and rescue at sea, and support member economies in
emergency preparedness, disaster response and recovery, including the dispatch
of search and rescue teams. Furthermore, there is a need to launch humanitarian
and charity campaigns and to encourage the engagement of business community in
APEC should also work to increase its tangible and effective
contributions to regional and international efforts in such areas as early
warning, disaster resilience and reconstruction, and implementation of the newly
adopted UN Childrenâ€™s Charter on Disaster Risk Reduction. We should also fortify
our coordination with the existing regional mechanisms, including the Asian
Disaster Response Centre, the Asia-Pacific Disaster Management Centre, the Asia
Disaster Mitigation Centre, and the ASEAN Disaster Management Committee.
Thank you for your attention.