AUSTRALIA TO LEAD APEC PANDEMIC RESPONSE EXERCISE 2006
Australia will lead a regional simulation exercise on 7 June 2006 to test and strengthen emergency communication across the 21 economies of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in the event of a human influenza pandemic. Singapore will co-facilitate.
Senior officials from relevant agencies around the region will make real-time decisions based on a hypothetical scenario. From their usual work places, they will share information and communicate as they would in a real pandemic situation.
The Philippine National Disaster Coordination Centre, with the support of the Bureau of Animal Industry and the Department of Health, will head the Philippine response.
Australian Ambasador to the Philippines Tony Hely explained: “The exercise, 'APEC Pandemic Response Exercise 2006', is a key initiative under the APEC Action Agenda endorsed by the APEC leaders last year and part of Australia's $100 million regional assistance package over four years to combat the threat of pandemics and other emerging infectious diseases within the region.”
Further details on the exercise can be found in the background brief and in the 2 June joint media release by Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Alexander Downer, and Attorney-General, Philip Ruddock, at www.foreignminister.gov.au/releases/.
The Australian Government is to host the APEC forum in 2007.