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US and New Zealand Sign Memorandum to Strengthen Emergency Management Collaboration

The US has recently concluded similar agreements with Spain, Germany, France, Israel, Australia, the United Kingdom and Canada. (see also http://www.aofs.org/hs-bilateral-agreements-us/ )  –

President Obama and Ambassador Mike Moore

U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and New Zealand Ambassador to the United States Mike Moore today signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) strengthening emergency management cooperation between the United States and New Zealand-enhancing disaster response and recovery capabilities in both nations through improved information sharing and collaboration.

“Close collaboration with our international partners is essential to building our resilience to disasters,” said Secretary Napolitano. “I look forward to working with our emergency management partners in New Zealand to better prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters and keep our citizens safe.”

The MOC between the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and New Zealand’s Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management establishes a framework for information sharing and emergency management cooperation-including the exchange of lessons learned from previous disasters and exercises as well as best practices regarding education and training, public awareness efforts, community and organizational resilience and risk assessment. The MOC also provides opportunities for joint research and coordination on emergency management.

While the United States and New Zealand have offered each other disaster assistance in the past, this MOC is the first formal memorandum between the countries’ emergency management agencies. Secretary Napolitano and Ambassador Moore were joined by Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Deputy Administrator for Protection and National Preparedness Tim Manning for the official signing.

In January this year, the United States and New Zealand signed an agreement to enhance cooperation in science and technology research to improve the shared capabilities of both nations to protect against acts of terrorism and other threats to domestic and external security.

“The Agreement on Science and Technology Cooperation Contributing to Domestic and External Security Capabilities strengthens New Zealand’s longstanding relationship with the U.S. in research science and technology,” said New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully. “Under the Agreement New Zealand transport security and civil defense emergency management researchers will now benefit from collaborative project work with their U.S. counterparts.”

The Agreement calls for close cooperation between the US and New Zealand on the development of threat and vulnerability analyses and new technologies, and strengthened collaboration on border and transport security and civil defense emergency management.

The Agreement draws on the collective technical expertise of government scientists from both countries, and encourages robust participation by universities, non-profit organization and the private sector through public-private partnerships and collaborative funding.

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