The NADI Workshop on Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR)
The Track II Network of ASEAN Defence and Security Institutions (NADI) Workshop on Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) was organised by the National Defence Studies Institute (NDSI) at the Imperial Queen’s Park Hotel, Bangkok during 28-30 June 2011. The meeting was chaired by Major General Surasit Thanadtang, Director of Strategic Studies Center, National Defence Studies Institute and attended by representatives of defence and security think tanks and defence institutions from ASEAN countries. General Puchong Rattanawan, Commanding General, National Defence Studies Institute, gave his opening remarks to the NADI Workshop.
Three representatives of the Thai delegation gave briefings to the NADI Workshop on the back ground of the cooperation in HADR among Asean countries and now in the framework of the ADMM-Plus. The Thai representatives also briefed on the recent Joint and Combined exercises conducted by the Thai and Malaysian armed forces and the lessons they have learnt.
The NADI participants have an exchange of views on their national policies on HADR and their response capabilities to disasters and how Asean countries could assist each other in times of disasters including the role of their militaries. They felt that the ADMM could conduct workshops/seminars and table-top exercises to promote better understanding of the national policies of individual Asean countries on HADR and their response capabilities and cooperation among Asean countries to assist in times of disasters. At the conclusion of their discussions, the NADI Workshop agreed on the following.
1. The issue of HADR should be seen from a much broader perspective in which the military is one of the important actors.
2. The top most priority in HADR is in the development of national plan and level of preparedness by individual ASEAN countries. This eff
ort would involve identifying specific HADR threats and responses and capacity building to meet these challenges. 3. The second priority is to establish some form of cooperation mechanism at the ASEAN level to provide mutual assistance and to identify issues and areas of cooperation in HADR.
4. Since the military would inevitably play a major role, the meeting proposed to ADMM to organise workshops and seminars to promote better understanding of each others’ national HADR plan and promote cooperation at the ASEAN level.
5. More bilateral and multilateral HADR exercises should be conducted by ASEAN member nations to enhance the skills and capabilities of their armed forces in HADR
6. In the context of ADMM Plus, it is agreed that the roles of the Plus countries are to assist ASEAN in HADR response through capacity building and additional resources needed as and when required. The Plus countries could also contribute in information sharing, especially the provision of timely and early warning alerts of impending disaster.