RCG improves coordination for mega-disasters
December 6, 2017
SINGAPORE – The third session of the Regional Consultative Group (RCG) on Humanitarian Civil-Military Coordination for Asia and the Pacific took place Dec. 5-6 in Singapore.
Chaired by Singapore, the session included 130 participants from 26 countries and focused on continuing the development of civil-military coordination work plans for the five countries identified as most likely to be hit by a mega-disaster: Bangladesh, Indonesia, Myanmar, Nepal and the Philippines.
“I am heartened by the strong participation in this event,” said Chan Yeng Kit, Singapore’s Permanent Secretary for Defense. “I am confident that as long as we remain committed to pursuing a broad, collaborative approach to (humanitarian assistance and disaster response), the Asia-Pacific’s humanitarian responses will be more effective and our people safer.”
During the mid-term RCG in June, the groups continued to monitor and support the work plans for the selected countries, which have made progress in recent months.
“We heard yesterday about policies and laws that were literally passed within the last few weeks in Bangladesh, and ones coming forth in Pakistan that will take those nations to a whole new level of preparedness,” said Joseph Martin, director of the Center for Excellence in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance, while addressing the RCG.
He added that as a result of the progress made through efforts like the RCG, “You are better prepared, you are more capable, and you are more resilient.”
Additional topics covered were: coordination architecture in disaster response; lessons learned from simulation exercises; RCG logistics working group; regional policy updates on UN-CMCoord; and humanitarian technology.
Formed in 2014, CFE-DM and UNOCHA act as co-secretariats of the multi-stakeholder, regional forum that brings together humanitarian, civilian and military actors to improve humanitarian civil-military coordination during disasters.
Colonel Lee Kuan Chung, director of the Changi Regional Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Coordination Centre; Joseph Martin, director of the Center for Excellence in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance; and Markus Werne, head of United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, participant in a senior-leaders discussion during the Regional Consultative Group (RCG) on Humanitarian Civil-Military Coordination for Asia and the Pacific in Singapore Dec. 5.