S'pore offers to host regional centre for humanitarian aid and disaster relief

S'pore offers to host regional centre for humanitarian aid and disaster relief
Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen (second from right) and his counterparts meeting with US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel (extreme left).

This would allow Asean countries' militaries to respond speedily and effectively to disasters such as Typhoon Haiyan that struck the Philippines, ministers at an informal Asean-United States Defence Ministers' meeting in Hawaii noted on Friday.


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Statement from Ministry of Defence:

Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen has offered Singapore's Changi Command and Control (C2) Centre to host a regional Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) coordination centre.

The offer, made at the ASEAN-US Defence Ministers' informal meeting today, was supported by the Ministers.

In discussing ASEAN's HADR efforts in the region in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan, the Ministers emphasised the need for militaries to work more closely together to strengthen the region's HADR capabilities.

The Ministers noted that a regional HADR coordination centre, modeled after the Information Fusion Centre (IFC) in the Changi C2 Centre, would allow the militaries to respond speedily and effectively to a disaster situation.

During the meeting today, the ASEAN Defence Ministers also welcomed the US' continued engagement in the region and its active participation in the ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting-Plus (ADMM-Plus).

The Ministers noted the important role the ADMM-Plus plays in strengthening practical cooperation amongst the militaries and supported the conduct of an ADMM-Plus joint counter-terrorism and maritime security exercise to be held in conjunction with the 3rd ADMM-Plus in Malaysia in 2015.

The Ministers also discussed international security issues, including developments in Ukraine, and the need to respect international law, sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Dr Ng is in Honolulu, Hawaii to attend the ASEAN-US Defence Ministers' informal meeting from April 2 to 4 at the invitation of US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel.

As part of the programme, the ASEAN Defence Ministers visited the Inouye Regional Centre for a roundtable discussion on HADR. They were also hosted to a luncheon by Commander Pacific Command Admiral Samuel Locklear.

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