Thursday September 6, 2012
Anifah: Coordinate emergency handling system to be more resilient
VLADIVOSTOK (Eastern Russia): Malaysia wants Apec member economies to coordinate their disaster and emergency handling system so that victims anywhere in the region will get help quickly.
Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman said there was an urgent need to leverage on each other's expertise and available resources to ensure assistance gets to the affected people timely and effectively.
He also called for the establishment of a more effective early warning system that would focus on all types of natural disasters in the region.
“With the pooling of technical know-how and expertise from all the member economies, I am confident that such an early warning system will collectively strengthen our emergency preparedness and disaster resilience in the Apec region,” said Anifah at the first day of the 24th Apec Ministerial Meeting (AMM) here yesterday.
He said Malaysia for its part has contributed towards emergency preparedness and resilience by being host to the United Nations Humanitarian Response Depot at the Subang Military Airbase.
Anifah called on Apec members to use existing mechanisms like the Asean Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response that would include information on specific expertise possessed by each member economy to build a disaster resilient community.
“These mechanisms could also contribute to timely adoption of best practices, as well as drawing on expertise that each member economy possesses and avoiding economies from having to re-invent the wheel.”
Also present at the AMM is International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Mustapa Mohamed who will address the meeting today.
Besides emergency preparedness, the meeting will also discuss enhancing food security, supporting multilateral trade system, trade and investment liberalisation and regional economic integration all listed as priority goals of host country Russia.
The Apec senior officials had stated that providing enough food was imperative to prevent a repeat of 2008 when the US financial crisis drove up prices and restricted supply.
Agriculture Ministry deputy secretary-general (planning) Datuk Raihan Sharif told Malaysian media covering the meetings that the world needed to increase its present production by 70% by 2050 in order to feed the estimated nine billion global population then.
He said the senior officials had met in Kazan, the capital of Tatarstan, in May where they had discussed this issue extensively and concluded that food security can only be ensure with sustainable production and technically sound distribution system.
He added that the senior officials also agreed that protectionism practices shown during the 2008 crisis where countries refused to supply basic food items to neighbouring countries because of rising prices should be stopped.
Apec continues to grow as ties strengthen between countries