VietNamNet Bridge – Deputy PM and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh yesterday (Nov 18) called for ASEM (Asia-European Meeting) countries to strengthen coordination to combat the increasing threat of climate change and natural disasters in the wake of storm Haiyan in the Phillippines.


Survivors sit on the debris in Tacloban City on Leyte Island in the Philippines on Nov. 11, 2013, after the area was hit by powerful Typhoon Haiyan on Nov. 8.— Photo Kyodo




He was addressing the ASEM high-level meeting on disaster prevention and relief in response to climate change, which was held yesterday, attracting 120 delegates from ASEM member countries and UN agencies.

The meeting, held by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and Foreign Ministry, is part of an initiative proposed by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung at the ASEM 9th Summit held in Vientiane (Laos) in 2012.

Minh stressed member countries must intensify coordination in light of extreme natural disasters, with this year being among the top 10 warmest years since 1850.

Asia-Europe bore the brunt of around 70 per cent of the world's diasters with experts estimating that two-thirds of disaster victims lived in Asia, according to Minh.

Minh called on all 51 members of ASEM to focus on applying different models to combat the effects of disasters and establish a permanent ASEM initative.

He also called on member countries to create a network of centres and institutes to improve warning systems for natural disasters.

Delegates also spent a minute paying tribute to the lost lives due to Haiyan storm in the Phillippines.

Source: VNS