Doha - Qatar, November 3, 2015: H.E the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani inaugurated the 5th edition of the Civil Defence Exhibition and Conference today, Monday, 2/11/2015 morning at Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre.
Minister of state for defence affairs H.E. Staff Maj. General Hamad bin Ali Athiyya, Minister of municipality H.E Sheikh Abdul Rahman bin Khalifa, Minister of business and trade H.E Ahmed bin Jassim bin Muhammed Al Thani, Minister of environment H.E Ahmed bin Aaamir Al Humaidi, Minister of transport H.E Jassim Saif Al Sulaiti, Chief of Emiri Guard H.E Hazza bin Khalil Al Shahwani, ambassadors of some sisterly and friendly countries, delegations of Arab countries, guests of the State and directors of several departments of the Ministry of Interior attended the opening ceremony.
After touring the pavilions of the exhibition, H.E the Prime Minister headed to the conference hall to attend the inauguration ceremony of the conference on the theme ‘Sustainable development and disaster reduction’ where the audience watched a film on climate change and its consequences that may lead to risks and disasters.
Delivering the speech on behalf of Qatar, the Director General of Qatar Civil Defence, Staff Brig. Abdullah Muhammed Al Suwaidi said that, our meeting today at the opening of the fifth civil defence conference under the theme ‘Sustainable development and disaster reduction’ emphasizes what poses this issue of great importance to the countries of the world without any exception, and the keenness of the State of Qatar to strengthen all efforts to achieve sustainable development and reduce risks as intrinsic part of the national vision 2030. Likewise, this conference is held in the light of global concern on disaster reduction as highlighted by Sendai International Conference on Disaster Reduction, which was held in March in Japan with the participation of a wide range of countries and concerned international organizations. In addition to this, this year witnessed the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development and the launch of the post-2015 phase and developing a framework until 2030 and all of this demonstrate the importance of such conferences and work together to reduce disasters and reduce risk, added Brig. Al Suwaidi.
He also said that the sustainable development is a development that promotes prosperity and economic opportunities and increased social welfare and environmental protection, which offer the best way to improve the lives of people through the achievement of cooperation in solving humanitarian, cultural, social and economic dimensions of global problems and to promote respect for human rights and to encourage basic freedom for all without discrimination.
There are global warnings on the risks of climate change and the risks related to this change are increasing, which urges us to find out urgent solutions before it is too late. According to the existing rates, there is an increase in emissions of gases contributing to high temperatures as well as the world is witnessing the effects of climate change, starting from the raise of sea level and the melting of the ice and ending with the strange weather patterns and therefore, the sustainability is an important part in facing climate change, stated Brigadier Al Suwaidi.
During the recent years, the international community has witnessed the increasing incidence of natural disasters, as well as the related environmental and technological disasters and a series of earthquakes, droughts, floods and volcanoes caused heavy losses in human lives and considerable damage on the basic economic and social infrastructure and this issue highlights the need to develop the ability to adapt the heart of the issue of sustainable development, which requires cooperation and collaboration among all countries of the world to ensure the reduction of disaster losses and the exchange of best practices and lessons learned to promote the issue of disaster reduction and increase awareness on the importance of facing those disasters, said the chief of Civil Defence.
He also pointed out that the world, during the coming years will be working according to the Sendai framework for achieving seven global goals for disaster risk reduction and management over the next fifteen years, including the reduction of global mortality rate and number of people affected by disasters in the period between 2020-2030 and limit the damage to infrastructure through the development of disaster response mechanisms by 2030; and increase the number of countries that have national and local strategies to reduce disaster risks and enhance international cooperation with developing countries.
The civil defence conference is a serious step towards achieving global partnership in the field of disaster reduction starting from the national role for the State of Qatar and its social responsibility at regional and international levels and for this reason, we wish that the conference will achieve its targeted goals, said Brig. Al Suwaidi concluding his speech.
Delivering a speech in the inaugural session of the conference, chairman of the UN International Parliament Union Sabir Choudhary thanked H.E the Prime Minister for inviting him to this conference and praised the keenness of H.E the Prime Minister in organizing this conference under the them ‘Sustainable Development and Disaster Reduction’. This is a very important year for the UN in the terms of the international relationships and operations as in the last March, the Sendai conference for disaster reduction was held in Japan and during the last month, another conference was held in New York and there is a discussion in Paris on climate change in coming December with the participation of heads of several states who will sign on the protocol for sustainable development. When we think, we can find out that these three conferences are interrelated and interlinked each other and they are of high importance because without disaster reduction, we cannot achieve sustainable development and I consider this conference as one of the most important conferences held because all are for achieving a single goal of sustainable development, stated Sabir Choudhari.
As we all know, the disaster is sweeping the world, more than we imagine, as we saw in the video presentation on the occasion of the opening session. If we take a look on figures from 2000 until 2011, we can notice that the losses are very huge and the numbers are threatening us. It is important to know that the weather conditions are changing to worst and we are seeing a lot of disasters and accidents and the frequency and intensity are on the rise again and all of these makes everybody keen to make efforts in the field of sustainable development, added Choudhari.
At the international level, it's not about disaster recovery only, but also in the prevention of risk as well, and how we reduce the risks through disasters and crisis management, and I hope that this conference will focus on such topics. In the Arab world, there is increasing awareness in environmental matters, and this conference is part of this process. I think that the Arab League is making great efforts in this matter and has a policy and protocols for disaster recovery, and more we concert and coordinate the efforts, we will be more efficient to cope with disasters and to go ahead in this field, added the UN representative.
Ministry of Interior, University of Central Lancashire Sign Agreement
HE the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior witnessed on the sidelines of Civil Defence Exhibition opening, signing of an agreement between the Ministry of Interior represented by the General Directorate of Civil Defense and the University of Central Lancashire, UK. On behalf of the Ministry of Interior, Brigadier Abdullah Mohammed Al Suwaidi, Civil Defense Director General signed the agreement while the University of Central Lancashire was represented by Dr. Gary Bond, Director of Criminal investigation Science Faculty at the University. The agreement which will come into force in January next year, will pave the way to provide diploma in fire fight management at Ras Laffan Emergency College.
Brigadier Al Suwaidi said that this agreement, which is being prepared since a while and signed today, has been coordinated between the Ministry of Interior, Qatar Petroleum and the University and adds an outstanding academic value at the Ras Laffan Emergency College. The new diploma course, which will be provided for the operations officers will raise their professional and academic level, whereas the University of Central Lancashire is one of the reputable universities in the field. He added that this diploma which requires two years study, is the first of its kind in the region, noting that the Ras Laffan College is one of the specialized colleges at global level and has a high-level curriculum in the areas of fire, operations, civil protection and other topics.
Minister of Municipality : I would Like to Visit the Expo to Learn more about Procedures of Building Safety
The Minister of Municipality and Planning Development H.E Sheikh Abdul Rahman bin Khalifa Al Thani expressed his happiness in attending the 5th edition of the civil defense exhibition and conference. The Civil Defense introduces us the latest technologies in disaster management and especially, the theme of the conference for this year 'Sustainable Development and Disaster Reduction' is of very importance.
He added that, We need to address the natural disasters and problems that occur in our region, particularly the problem of storms and the civil defense is the first line of protection when these disasters are happened and we must all join hands with them in this matter. Perhaps required procedure from our side is to take precautions before disasters, and I personally look forward to visit the this year's exhibition for the second time so I can follow up the role of the Ministry of Municipal in this regard, and I look forward to attending seminars mentioned in the conference booklet, which seems to be rich and creamy with information and this is clear from the presence of large numbers of well-known lecturers such as Dr. Zaghloul El-Naggar, who will speak in one of the seminars.
Answering a question about the role of Ministry of Municipality in the civil defense field, the Minister said that the Ministry of Municipality is issuing the building permit and our partnership with civil defence of the Ministry of Interior compels us to concentrate on the side of safety of the buildings, especially in the matter of sustainability. The civil defence has a lot of experience in this field and they have latest construction codes and I hope that all of these matters will contribute in reducing the disasters.
Minister of Transport : Civil Defence Exhibition and Conference is one of the best global exhibitions in this field
The Minister of Transport H.E Jassim Saif Ahmed Al Sulaiti stressed that the Civil Defence Exhibition and Conference is one of the best global exhibitions in the field and it is getting better every year and participation of huge number of exhibitors reflects the strength and size of the expo.
We are living an active country and we have taken measures to fight the fires and to face any earthquakes or other disasters and we have the latest devices and technological equipment in the world. In addition to this, we have trained cadres who became very familiar with using these techniques and equipment, which makes Qatar a safer country. The Ministry of Transport and its projects such as Rail project, the port and the airport are actively participating in the expo as well as to take advantage of expertise and techniques showcased in the expo, the Minister of Transport added.
Commenting about the civil defence conference, the American ambassador to Qatar H.E Dana Shell Smith said it is very impressive conference and the efforts which made by the Qatari government in the field of civil defence are also very impressive. I am proud about the American companies are working together with their partners in Qatar and this conference is very important for the people's safety and the security of the country and the exhibition looks very impressive and there are exhibitors from so many countries. There are 200 American companies are participating in the exhibition and this amazing and it shows expertise of American companies which are the best in the world, H.E the Ambassador Dana added.
The French Ambassador to Qatar H.E said, we have less companies participating in the expo, but the conference is very important one on a very important issue, because it is not only on civil defence, but it is also on risk prediction, risk mitigation and natural disasters which are major issues today for the world and for the region. It is very good that the prime minter H.E Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani decided to have as a main focus of this conference. On the civil protection and civil defence, we have a lot of cooperation between our civil defence and Qatari civil defence and there are many relations and exchange of expertise between two countries.