WAM Abu Dhabi, 25th Feb. 2014 (WAM) — As no country in the world is immune from natural or man-made disasters and hazards, the regional and international actors and organisations need to strengthen collective cooperation and coordination, share information and expertise and experiences, learn lessons from previous experiments and conduct studies and researches to devise common strategies to enhance national resilience, prepare communities to respond swiftly to all types of crises, emergencies and disasters to recover with the least loss of life and property damage, Mohamed Khalfan Al Rumaithi, General Director of National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA), has said.
In his keynote address to the 4th “Crisis ‘&’ Emergency Management Conference 2014, today, Al Rumaithi told a gathering of local, regional and international experts, academics, planners and strategists on crisis and disaster management that the two-day conference is held under the title “Preparedness ‘&’ Response is Everyone’s Responsibility: Vigilant Community” to reflect ”our reading to the course of events and their repercussions on the region and the world at large and to underscore our commitment to take proactive measures before it is too late.” Al Rumaithi added the conference would focus on five keynotes, namely: preventive prediction, role of media in raising awareness about emergencies, disasters and community, first responder, climate phenomena, and natural disasters and risks management.
NCEMA says the aim of the conference is to promote emergency, crisis and disaster management in the UAE in particular, and in the region in general, to reach an optimal level guaranteeing more rigorous and feasible preparedness and an effective response to any kind of emergencies or crises. This is deemed achievable through optimal learning from international experiences and practices, by using all available resources and modern technologies, as well as by developing methods, frameworks, and processes to ensure the promotion of the areas of coordination and collaboration with concerned entities at the local, regional and international levels.
In his address, Dr. Nabil El Araby, Secretary-General of the Arab League, said the Arab region was facing diverse political, economic, humanitarian and natural crises and that most Arab countries had failed to address and respond to them due to lack of advanced infrastructure and updated detailed crisis management plans.
”Any crisis management plan hinges on preparedness of the whole community – individuals and companies – a matter that requires a change in the mind-set and attitude,” he added.
He noted that the Arab region faced over the past 25 years nearly 276 disasters, which killed 100,000 people,affected 10 million of population and left 1.5 million homeless.
Amidst these tremendous challenges, he stressed Arab countries need to have preemptive plans, early warning systems and effective response and recovery plans.
The Arab League chief stressed the importance of establishing a Pan-Arab crisis network to address and respond to disasters and called for a protocol to regulate cooperation between Arab crises rooms and provision of financial resources and advanced technology to ensure better performance.