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International collaboration

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The National Emergency Management Agency collaborates with key international partners to learn from best practice and share experiences to build capacity, knowledge and partnerships internationally to enhance Australia’s standing in the international disaster risk reduction and resilience community. 

United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR):  

A key international partner is the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), which is responsible for the international coordination of strategies and programs for the reduction of disaster risks. 

Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030: 

The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction drives and coordinates the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015–2030. This framework drives international risk reduction, and associated policies, across four priority areas; understanding disaster risk; strengthening disaster risk governance; investing for disaster risk reduction for resilience; importance of disaster preparedness and building back better after a disaster strikes. 

Nationally, the Sendai Framework is translated into the Australian context by the National Disaster Risk Reduction Framework

The Sendai Framework, as well as the Paris Agreement on climate change and the Sustainable Development Goals set the international framework for the operations of the National Emergency Management Agency. 

The National Emergency Management Agency is responsible for reporting on Australia’s national progress against the seven targets of the Sendai Framework and supports the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction's work in the Asia-Pacific region by assisting governments and communities implement the Sendai Framework and engaging with the private sector to develop more disaster resilient investment avenues. 

Global Midterm Review of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 (Sendai Framework) 

In reaching the midpoint of the Sendai Framework, the UNDRR is leading the global midterm review of its implementation. NEMA led Australia's national midterm review for the Sendai Framework, which was submitted to UNDRR on 30 September 2022. 

The midterm review process will result in a high-level meeting, to be held in New York in 18-19 May 2023. Indonesia and Australia (DFAT) have been appointed as the co-facilitators to lead negotiations on a political declaration – to renew commitment to, and accelerate the global collective implementation of the Sendai Framework. Member States will be asked to adopt this declaration at the high-level meeting. 

A synthesis report and a main report on the global midterm review have been drafted by the UNDRR to support the development of the political statement. 

Multilateral engagement 

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) is building its capacity and capability to support Australian and international disaster risk and disaster management including through engaging with multilateral forums: 

  • Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)  

  • Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) 

  • Group of Twenty (G20)  

  • Five Country Ministerial (FCM) 

Bilateral engagement 

The National Emergency Management Agency enhances its capability through bilateral engagements with various agency counterparts overseas.   

New Zealand  

On 19 September 2022, officials from Australia and New Zealand’s National Emergency Management Agencies signed a memorandum of cooperation on disaster management. The agreement will encourage greater information-sharing on emergency management research and best practice, facilitate shared disaster assistance such as technical advisors where required, and explore opportunities for joint activities and exercises, between the two countries. The agreement will also enable a more connected approach to regional and international engagement. 


On 29 August 2018, ministers from Australia and Canada’s Emergency Management Agencies signed a memorandum of cooperation on emergency management. This agreement seeks to deepen collaboration on the following areas: operations, policy development and support, research, and capacity development.  

United States of America 

On 26 June 2015, officials from Australia and USA’s Emergency Management Agencies signed a memorandum of cooperation on emergency management. Under the Memorandum, the organisations will promote cooperation and understanding in the following areas: crisis coordination and the management of all hazards events, policy and planning, and the administration and evaluation of recovery programs. A corresponding workplan was also agreed to outline specific projects for agencies to collaborate on.  

Resource sharing 

The National Emergency Management Agency provides support to international partners through the overseas deployment of medical, and search and rescue capabilities. In March 2022, NEMA deployed a team of Fire and Rescue New South Wales to Tonga to support clean-up activities following the eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai eruption. Throughout COVID-19, NEMA also deployed multiple Australian Medical Assistance Teams to Fiji, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste and Vanuatu to provide medical advice on the containment of COVID-19. 

UN Global Assessment Report on Disaster Reduction 

The Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction is the flagship report of the United Nations on worldwide efforts to reduce disaster risk. 

We contributed to the 2022 Global Assessment Report

Recent international engagement 

The National Emergency Management Agency has and continues to support the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in its international engagement. Recent international engagement includes attending the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (held in Indonesia, May 2022), leading the Australian delegation to the Pacific Disaster Risk Reduction Ministers Meeting (held in Fiji, September 2022) and hosting the Asia-Pacific Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (held in Brisbane, September 2022). 

NEMA also works closely with the Department of Home Affairs particularly through their National Resilience Taskforce. This includes supporting their leadership over the development of a national, five year disaster mitigation framework.