16 Asian nations conference kicks off in Islamabad

16 Asian nations conference kicks off in Islamabad

ISLAMABAD (APP): A three-day conference of high-ranking officials of national disaster management offices and related organizations from 16 Asian countries will begin here on Monday to deliberate on options for disaster risk reduction through regional cooperation.

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Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal will be the chief guest at the inaugural session of the 13th Annual meeting of the Regional Consultative Committee (RCC) on Disaster Management. Main theme of the meeting is "Operationalizing Global Frameworks for Ris-Resilient Development in Asia".

The meeting will conclude on October 19 with a joint statement from all the participating countries on reducing disaster risks in Asia Pacific Region through collective efforts.

This meeting will offer an opportunity to the member countries to devise collective actions for implementing global frameworks in a bid to save people's lives and properties in the face of climate change phenomenon that threatens to affect development efforts of Asian economies.

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National Disaster Management Authorities (NDMA), Pakistan is hosting the event in collaboration with Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre (ADPC), Thailand. The RCC will discuss opportunities and challenges for implementing at national and regional scale the national disaster management reduction, the sustainable development goals (SDGs) and Paris Climate Change Agreement.

The Regional Consultative Committee (RCC) is made up of 26 member countries that serve as an informal consultative representatives, working on key government positions in the national disaster management system of respective countries participate and exchange experiences in addition to developing practical cooperative programs on disaster risk reduction and climate change adaption.

ADPC, acting as the Secretariat since the Committee's inception in 2000, will facilitate the meeting and its findings will pave the way to shape the direction of future programmes at regional level.

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Participating countries include China, Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, Mongolia, Philippines, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Pakistan. Besides that delegates from Denmark, USA, Switzerland, Germany and different international organizations are participating as observers.

The meeting assumes importance owing to the fact that it is held three weeks before Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR) scheduled to be held in New Delhi in the first week of November 2016. The input of 13th RCC meeting, will significantly contribute to AMCDRR.

The meeting of such a large scale of foreign delegates including SAARC countries is considered a diplomatic success as well as recognition of Pakistan's stature and commitment to global framework and human cause.