The first Series of HRH Raja Nazrin Shah, the Crown Prince of Perak on the Humanitarian Lecture Series entitled “The Role of Regional Networks in Humanitarian Aid”
The world is today facing unique and daunting environmental challenges which requires urgent attention and comprehensive action from all nations. Natural disasters happen more frequently now and will undoubtedly continue to happen in the future. Bearing in mind this challenging landscape, Mercy Malaysia organized the first of the HRH Raja Nazrin Shah Humanitarian Lecture Series entitled “the Role of Regional Networks in Humanitarian Aid” on Saturday, 20 October 2012. HRH Raja Nazrin Shah, the Crown Prince of Perak was the Guest of Honour. As the Southeast Asian region has experienced devastating natural disasters such as earthquakes and tsunamis, ASEAN has taken the lead in ensuring a more disaster-resilient region with various cooperation in disaster management. The 12th Secretary-General of ASEAN, an outstanding, experienced and knowledgeable personality, Dr. Surin Pitsuwan delivered the valuable lecture.
IDFR as Malaysia’s leading diplomatic training institution has always given priority on disaster management lectures to create awareness among diplomats on the need for strong commitment to face natural disasters. In this regard, two officers from IDFR had the pleasure to attend the first Series of HRH Raja Nazrin Shah Lecture Series 2012.
The lecture occasion, which was attended by more than 150 participants and delegates, provided an ideal opportunity to create new approaches towards enhancing various engagements in establishing regional humanitarian aid network. It also instilled the importance of disaster management and preparedness in various key players who were present. The lecture touched on the strategies and measures which should be undertaken to create a more resilient Southeast Asian region. His Excellency, Dr. Surin Pitsuwan also highlighted the role of different and new actors in humanitarian aid and disaster management. Networks clearly have wide ranging implications in the humanitarian sector, hence a stronger and sustainable network within the region is much needed. In this regard, the engagement of civil society organizations, the private sector, defence agencies and external institutions such as UNCR, OCAR and UNDP in disaster management is important to facilitate disaster cooperation. Besides that, he stressed that the best way to be secure is for each nation to enhance her own capacity and defence potential.
He also proposed for the lecture series on international humanitarian affairs to be held annually with other ASEAN Member States involvement under the ASEAN umbrella. Furthermore, Dr. Surin Pitsuwan also briefed on ASEAN’s initiatives on the disaster management and the effectiveness of ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management (AHA Centre) in tackling the natural disaster.
It has been a very insightful experience for both IDFR officers and other representatives who attended the lecture series to hear from the gracious and outstanding personality. The lecture series revealed the success of humanitarian aid which revolves heavily around the regional network, sharing of knowledge, new ideas and innovative mechanisms among various actors and organizations. Last but not least, as Dr. Surin Pitsuwan said, “Hope we will be better prepared the next time when disaster strikes Southeast Asia”.
Reported by : Jarin Sijaya Abdul Hathi