The launching ceremony of the Asean Regional Forum Disaster Relief Exercise 2015 (ARF DiREx 2015) was held in Nay Pyi Taw,the Republic of the Union of Myanmar on August 10, 2014 at the backdrop of the 21st ARF Ministerial Meeting. Foreign Minister Anifah Aman of Malaysia, Foreign Minister Wang Yi of China and Foreign Minister Wunna Maung Lwin of Myanmar powered up a crystal ball,unveiled the logo of ARF DiREx 2015 and officially started the preparation work for the Exercise.
In a multimedia presentation played at the ceremony to introduce and promote ARF DiREx 2015, Foreign Minister Anifah Aman of Malaysia said,"Natural disasters had disproportionate impacts on human development in the region. We cannot stop natural disasters but we can arm ourselves with the knowledge and skills on how deal with it. Disaster preparedness is crucial in reducing the impact of disasters in particular to save lives. Malaysia stands ready to collaborate with China and all ARF members to increase the region's disaster preparedness towards the creation of a disaster resilient community by 2015."
Foreign Minister Wang Yi of China said,"East Asia has been frequently hit by natural disasters in recent years. The life and properties of people in this region are being threatened. China is ready to make concerted effort with Malaysia and all ARF members to make DiREx 2015 a successful event, to promote cooperation and capacity building in combating disasters, and to make contribution to the development of ARF and the enhancement of human security."
As a biennial event, ARF DiREx is one of the largest scaled disaster relief exercise in East Asia aimed at enhancing capacity building and cooperation among countries in this region in combating disasters. Co-hosted by Malaysia and China, ARF DiREx 2015 will take place in Malaysia in February 2015 with the scenario of a super typhoon hitting the State of Kedah and the surrounding area.
Initiated by ASEAN and established in 1994, the ARF has evolved into one of the most inclusive and influential multilateral platforms for security dialogue and cooperation in the Asia Pacific. It has 27 members including the ASEAN countries, Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, China, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, India, Japan, Mongolia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Republic of Korea, Russia, Sri Lanka, Timor-Leste, the United States as well as the European Union.