Disaster management and humanitarian assistance is a key area of cooperation between Switzerland and ASEAN. Since the beginning of the Sectoral Dialogue Partnership in 2016, Switzerland has supported policy dialogue and capacity development of decision makers. Responding to several natural disasters in Southeast Asia in 2018, Switzerland provided humanitarian assistance amounting to USD 3.5 million.
With the new Memorandum, Switzerland and the AHA Centre intend to further develop cooperation in order to strengthen disaster preparedness, capacity development, regional and international coordination of assistance and to promote the AHA Centre as a regional knowledge hub on disaster
management. The Memorandum was signed by the Swiss Assistant State Secretary for Asia and Pacific, Raphael Nägeli on behalf of Swiss Humanitarian Aid and the AHA Centre’s Executive Director, Adelina Kamal.
During the trilateral meeting with ASEAN Chair Thailand and the ASEAN Secretariat, Swiss State Secretary Pascale Baeriswyl stressed that ASEAN is an important political and economic partner. Switzerland values the Sectoral Dialogue Partnership as a platform to discuss global issues and to
tackle common challenges such as related to human security, climate change, and vocational education and training. State Secretary Baeriswyl said the theme of Thailand’s chairmanship, “Advancing partnership for sustainability”, resonated well with Switzerland and that her country is committed to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals in partnership with ASEAN.
Switzerland supports the 2019 ASEAN Chair’s priorities with several concrete initiatives, such as the Interregional Dialogue on Business and Human Rights held in Bangkok in June and the ASEAN Forum on SDGs with National Development Planning Agencies held in Jakarta in July. Switzerland also looks forward to cooperating with the new ASEAN Centre for Sustainable Development Studies and Dialogue in Bangkok.
This year’s trilateral meeting with the ASEAN Chair and the ASEAN Secretariat coincided with Switzerland’s national day celebrated on 1 August.
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