|The 13th ASEAN Regional Forum Inter-Sessional Meeting on Disaster Relief Held in Chengdu, Sichuan Province|
From February 27 to 28, 2014, the 13th ASEAN Regional Forum Inter-Sessional Meeting on Disaster Relief, sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China, was held in Chengdu, Sichuan Province. 27 members of the Forum from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries, China, Japan, the Republic of Korea (ROK), the United States, Russia, Australia, and the European Union (EU), and more than 100 government officials, experts and scholars from ASEAN Secretariat, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance (OCHA), Beijing Office of the United Nations Platform for Space-based Information for Disaster Management and Emergency Response and other regional and international organizations attended the Forum. Vice Minister of Civil Affairs of China Jiang Li was present at invitation and addressed the opening ceremony.
The delegates exchanged their experience in responding to recent major disasters, and had in-depth discussions on issues of disaster warning, risk assessment, humanitarian materials reserve, emergency response dispatch, post-disaster damage assessment and reconstruction in disaster areas. They reached a broad consensus on deepening regional cooperation in disaster relief, helping the developing countries to upgrade the build-up of their responding ability to natural disasters, and strengthening coordination and cooperation among various regional cooperation mechanisms.
Many relevant research institutions and enterprises which are engaged in disaster relief service of earthquake early warning and emergency communications, presented their products during the meeting. Foreign delegates afterwards conducted a field trip on the reconstruction of Yingxiu Township, the epicenter of the Wenchuan earthquake-stricken area in 2008. They all spoke highly of the reconstruction of the disaster area.
ASEAN Regional Forum, established in 1993, is the most inclusive and influential security dialogue and cooperation mechanism in the Asia-Pacific region. Cooperation in disaster relief is the key area of practical cooperation under the framework of the Forum. The inter-sessional meeting is held once a year.