From Earth Times, excerpt :
" Phnom Penh : The secretary general of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) said on Monday member nations must work more closely to ensure they can best combat the next pandemic.
Dr Surin Pitsuwan said a coordinated regional effort in combating pandemics such as SARS and bird flu was vital to ensure the bloc can recover from worst-case scenarios with minimal losses.
"If we are not careful, it will certainly undermine our own economic growth and our own resilience in the region," he said on the first day of the Phnom Penh-based meeting attended by delegates from the 10-member ASEAN block, the US, the European Union and organizations such as the United Nations.
"It's natural that all these countries should come together and make sure that each will not be affected more severely, and no-one wants to be that weak link in the chain of defence," Surin said.
During the five-day exercise, the first of its kind in the world, delegates are to manage a fictional six-nation bloc where a severe pandemic has broken out."