Excellency, Mr. Nou Keosothea, Deputy Secretary-General of the National Commission of ESCAP of the Royal Government of Cambodia and Chair of the APDIM Governing Council,
Excellency, Mr. Yunus Sezer, Head of the Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) of Türkiye,
Distinguished Members of the Governing Council, dear colleagues,
It is my great pleasure to welcome you to the Seventh Session of the Governing Council of the Asia and Pacific Centre for the Development of Disaster Information Management (APDIM)
At the outset, I would like to express my deep thanks and appreciation to the Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency of Türkiye for hosting this session of the Governing Council as well as the High-level Consultative Meeting on disaster information management.
I would also like to express my warmest appreciation and thanks to Cambodia for chairing the Governing Council.
I also would like to express our appreciation and thank all of you for your cooperation and engagement, and for providing strategic guidance, knowledge and experience.
In this connection, I am pleased to note that this session was preceded and informed by the High-level Consultative Meeting which addressed some key issues and priorities of disaster risk reduction and information management, and provided valuable recommendations for expanding our cooperation and further informing APDIM’s programmes and activities.
Asia and the Pacific continues to be the most disaster-affected region of the world.
Since early 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change have further exacerbated the vulnerability of millions of people and increased disaster risk in many countries.
In 2022, major disasters such as floods in the Islamic Republic of Iran and Pakistan imposed heavy damages and losses on people, communities, livelihoods and infrastructures.
I wish to express my appreciation to the disaster management authorities in the disaster-affected countries for their commendable efforts and effective response to the disasters.
Disaster risk data governance and policy, hazard impact-based forecasting and effective monitoring and early warning are critical for the success of disaster risk reduction and management.
Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,
It is very encouraging to see that despite multiple operational challenges, APDIM continued its functions and activities and made important achievements over the past year.
I am especially proud to underscore that the 78th session of ESCAP in May this year endorsed the Regional Plan of Action on Sand and Dust Storms in Asia and the Pacific, which was developed with APDIM’s support in close cooperation and consultation with countries as well as inputs from international experts and specialized technical institutions.
The Plan of Action is a significant step towards the expansion and alignment of regional cooperation to reduce the risk and negative effects of sand and dust storms as an increasingly damaging hazard.
I encourage countries concerned with sand and dust storms to actively engage at the regional level with the process for its implementation, including by sharing their experiences and knowledge in this area.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran for hosting APDIM and providing valuable financial and non-financial contributions to the activities of the Centre. In this connection, I would like to encourage the Government to continue to provide its financial contribution according to the concluded agreement and arrangement for the Centre.
I would also like to thank Macao, China, and Cambodia for their financial contributions to APDIM. Likewise, I would like to take this opportunity to encourage all member States to continue to support the Centre’s work.
Distinguished Governing Council Members and colleagues,
This Council’s continued oversight, guidance and support will be critical for APDIM to progress and deliver the benefit of disaster knowledge and information management in the region.
I warmly encourage all countries of the region to make the best use of APDIM’s services and strengthen their cooperation in this very critical area of work for the resilience of our region.
I wish you all a very successful Governing Council session.
Thank you very much.