Crisis & Emergency Management conference opens

Filed on January 16, 2012

ABU DHABI -- Under the prestigious patronage of Shaikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, National Security Advisor and Chairman of the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority (NCEMA) Board of Directors, NCEMA proudly announced the opening of the third edition of the Crisis and Emergency Management Conference - CEMC 2012.

The event is organized by the Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis, INEGMA on January 16 – 17, 2012 at Fairmont Bab Al Bahr Hotel in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

CEMC was attended by Abdul Latif bin Rashid Al Zayani, Secretary General of the Cooperation Council for the Arab states of the Gulf and Saif Sultan Al Aryani, Secretary General of the National Security Supreme Council, in addition to international senior high-level government officials from the UAE, the Gulf and abroad as well as high-level military officials, decision makers, industry partners and NGO’s in addition to security specialists from the UAE, the GCC countries, USA, European Union, Asia and the Arab countries to discuss and share insights into emerging best practice in organizing and preparing for, alleviation, response and recovery in the face of emergencies and disasters.

Mohamed Khalfan Al Rumaithi, NCEMA’s General Manager delivered the welcome speech on behalf of Shaikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan. He stated: “We are pleased to convert to you the greetings of His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates and His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai and His Highness General Shaikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Supreme Commander of The UAE Armed Forces and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi. Since the foundation of the UAE under the leadership of late Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, our wise leaders followed a humanitarian and peaceful approach in people’s various issues and crisis irrespective of their religion, color, race or nationality. Shaikh Zayed’s successor is still on the same vision and interest in facing what humans suffer from and face in terms of danger, crisis and disasters.

Dr. Abdul Latif bin Rashid Al Zayani, Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council delivered a keynote speech in which he stated that the priorities of the GCC are represented in five main objective strategies. The first is the immunisation and protection of the GCC states against all threats and risks, whether external aggression, terrorism, organised crime, vandalism or other dangers. The second strategic objective is to achieve a sustainable economic growth where the GCC states have embarked in the planning and establishment of joint projects such as the Gulf common market, the customs union, the monetary union, the establishment of a GCC railway network, the link of electricity networks in addition to other vital strategic projects.”

The third strategic objective according to Al Zayani is the human development to achieve people’s needs and ambitions, Dr Al Zayani added.

Brigadier General Dr. Reda Btoush, Vice President of the National Centre for Security and Crisis Management at the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan – NCSCM gave a presentation on behalf of H. R. H. Prince Ali bin Al Hussein, NCSM’s Chairman about the Centre’s history, vision and aspirations.

Ali Rashed Al Neyadi, NCEMA’s Operations Department Director presented NCEMA’s progress since 2010. He presented NCEMA’s objectives since its foundation until today and emphasised on the steps that led to the Authority’s foundation as well as its achievements. Al Neyadi also discussed the preparations made by the Authority to face any emergency or crisis that might occur, in addition to the coordination between all emirates of the government in the field of crisis and emergency.

The First Plenary Session chaired by Major General Humaid Mohammed Al Hudaidi, Sharjah Police Chief featured three speakers.

Rashid Khalikov, Director from the Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the United Nations, examined “Measuring Success in Coordinating Humanitarian Relief Operations-Latest Lessons Learned.” Khalikov stated: “Droughts are inevitable, but they can be predicted through sophisticated early warning systems and they do not need to become famines.” He added: “Optimisation of funding could be further enhanced if a comprehensive set of priorities were agreed early on in a crisis among humanitarian and development actors.”

Major General Salim bin Musallam bin Ali Qatan, Assistant Inspector General of Police and Customs and Vice Chairman of the National Committee for Civil Defense in Sultanate Oman, gave a presentation entitled: “Managing Natural Disasters; Challenges and Lessons Learned.”

The final speaker of the first plenary session, Jim McGowan, Director General of the Department of Community Safety in Queensland Government, Australia, had a lecture on “Responding to An Escalating Crisis – Lessons Learned from Australia’s Flood Response in 2011.”, in which he emphasised on the preparation and planning and the importance of community education (risk and resilience).

McGowan added: “Risk assessments require comprehensive information. Risk must be understood and planned for but this traditional orthodoxy in no longer enough. Planning requires a response capability for the unpredicted or unpredictable event. Good preparation must recognise that each event is different and may take on unforeseen characteristics.”

Three lectures were held at the second plenary session and was chaired by Fiona Mckersie, an NCEMA consultant. It featured Mohamed Nasser Al Ghanim, Director General at the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority who gave a presentation about: “The national emergency plan for the telecommunications sector.”

Dr. Sami Al Faraj, President of Kuwait Centre for Strategic Studies briefed on: “Measuring Resilience-Community Subsystems and their Ability to withstand Disasters.”

Colonel Philippe Nardin, Head of the International Relations Missions at the Civil Protection Directorate, Civil Defense and Public Safety Direction in France, lectured about: “Mechanisms to Measure the Effectiveness of Crisis Response Plans.” In his presentation, Colonel Nardin treated the everyday life citizen’s risks, natural disasters, hazmat disasters, health risks and other related threats.

The first day of the conference ended with two specialised closed workshops. The first workshop treated: “Managing Catastrophic Events through unity of effort from Hurricane Katrina to Deep-Water Horizon.” Presented by Admiral (Ret.) Thad Allen, Former Commander of the United States Coast Guard.

The second workshop treated: “Facilitating Greater Business Continuity Planning through Enhanced Public-Private Sector Cooperation, presented by Mr. Alan Berman, MBCP and President of the Disaster Recovery Institute International - DRI in the USA.

CEMC 2012 will resume tomorrow, Tuesday the 16th of January, with two plenary sessions about Crisis Management Coordination and Cooperation and the Information Environment.

CEMC 2012 Government partners were: Ministry of Presidential Affairs, Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, General Headquarters and Emirate of Abu Dhabi, Executive Council General Secretariat.

Gold sponsor: Lockheed Martin, Silver sponsor: Booz Allen Hamilton

The first day of the conference ended successfully and was followed by a glamorous gala dinner at Fairmont Bab Al Bahr.

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