Minister Ablonczy Completes Successful Asia Visit

January 26, 2013 - The Honourable Diane Ablonczy, Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consular Affairs), today concluded a successful consular outreach trip to Asia, a region that is host to hundreds of thousands of Canadian visitors, residents and students each year.

Through stops in India, Thailand and China, the Minister met with key stakeholders and held high-level discussions with her counterparts about Canadian consular cases. Minister Ablonczy also gained an in-depth understanding of how local governments respond to disasters and prepare for emergencies thanks to a briefing at the National Disaster Management Authority in New Delhi and a tour of the Guangdong Emergency Management Office in Guangzhou, China.

“Cooperation and collaboration with other countries is crucial to success when Canada acts to help citizens who are caught in emergencies abroad,” said Minister Ablonczy. “By working together and pooling our knowledge, we are finding new ways of helping people when crises arise.”

Operating under India’s Ministry of Home Affairs, the National Disaster Management Authority is the top organization for disaster management in the country. It was established in 2005 and is mandated to develop policies and plans that ensure a timely and effective response to natural disasters.

The Guangdong Emergency Management Office officially opened on May 8, 2007, covers 21 municipalities and is mandated to improve the province’s emergency-response system and ability to protect the safety of residents.

During her trip, Minister Ablonczy also met with Adul Sangsingkeo, General Commissioner of the Royal Thai Police, to discuss cooperation on consular cases involving Canadians in Thailand.

Minister Ablonczy also visited the International Youth Hostel in New Delhi and Khaosan Road in Bangkok, one of the city’s most famous streets. She also paid her respects to fallen Canadians at the Sai Wan War Cemetery in Hong Kong.

For more information, please visit Minister Ablonczy Travels to Asia.

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A backgrounder follows.

For further information, media representatives may contact:

Joshua Zanin
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consular Affairs)

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
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Backgrounder - Canadians Registered in Asia

Since January 2010, approximately 3,600 Canadians residing or travelling in Asia have been affected to varying degrees by natural disasters in the region. Currently, approximately 27,000 Canadians travelling or residing in Asia are registered with Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada through the Registration of Canadians Abroad service.

Registration of Canadians Abroad is a free, confidential service that keeps Canadians connected to Canada in case of an emergency abroad or at home, such as an earthquake or civil unrest. The service enables registrants to receive the latest advice from the Canadian mission responsible for the area in which they are travelling or residing.