Online Launching of ASEAN Standards and Certification for Experts in Disaster Management (ASCEND)

16 Oct 2020

Jakarta, 22 September 2020 – The ‘ASEAN Standards and Certification for Experts in Disaster Management’ (ASCEND) was virtually launched. With the total of 121 participants, the event was attended by representatives of the ASEAN Secretariat, members of the Committee of Permanent Representatives to ASEAN, ASEAN dialogue partners, representative of the ASEAN-ROK Programme Management Team (AKPMT), members of the ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management (ACDM), international and civil society organisations.

With the support of USD 3.3 million from the ASEAN-Korea Cooperation Fund (AKCF), ASCEND project aims to create a regionally recognised certification scheme for professions in disaster management and ensure the availability of competent disaster management professionals in the region with strong capacity to manage disasters in order to reduce the loss of life, respond effectively, recover more quickly, and decrease disaster risks throughout the ASEAN region wherever possible. 

During the official launch, ASEAN Secretary-General H.E. Dato Lim Jock Hoi expressed appreciation to the Republic of Korea for their support and contributions to ASEAN in the areas of disaster management and health. The ASEAN Secretary-General also emphasised that ASCEND is one of the deliverables and priorities of the AADMER Work Programme (AWP). He expressed appreciation to the Republic of Korea for their support and contributions to ASEAN in the areas of disaster management and health, elaborating that, “in further strengthening our strategic partnership, we need to continue working closely together in developing cooperation across the three pillars of People, Prosperity and Peace.”

The Ambassador of Permanent Mission of ROK to ASEAN H.E Lim Sung Nam on behalf of the Government of ROK appreciated the Launch of ASCEND program. “We hope that Korea’s IT-driven disaster management system will be able to make meaningful contributions to the realisation of ASEAN’s goal to become a global leader in disaster management by 2025. The road to ASCEND to effective disaster management might be a long journey. However, with the ASCEND programme, I strongly hope and believe that Korea and ASEAN will be able to plant a meaningful seed of cooperation to build the people-centered community of peace and prosperity as envisaged by our New Southern Policy.”

Speaking at the virtual launching event, the Executive Director of the AHA Centre, Ms. Adelina Kamal, highlighted that the ASEAN region is not lacking in experience and expertise in disaster management. “ASCEND will validate skilful and competent professionals and ensuring high-quality standards of ASEAN human resources in disaster management. Therefore, this project is a critical stepping stone to turn ASEAN as a global leader in disaster management will become one step closer to reality.”

The AHA Centre will implement the ASCEND project with expert support and knowledge sharing from the Korea National Fire Agency. Collaboration between the two organisations will be a showcase of positive partnership between the ROK and the AHA Centre. Deputy Fire Chief of Korean National Fire Service Agency (KNFA), Ms. Jin Jeong-Hee said that the KNFA is fully aware of the importance of this project in achieving ASEAN goal to be the global leader in disaster management. “By sharing our expertise and experiences in disaster response and by introducing Korean IT-based disaster response system, we will fully cooperate with AHA Centre for the success of this project,” said Ms Jeong-Hee.

More information of ASCEND project can be seen here (