【A-PAD Nepal】 A-PAD Hosts its 1st International Symposium in Kathmandu, Nepal
On 28th June, 2022, A-PAD’s liaison office in Nepal, in partnership with National Business Initiatives, organized the 1st International Symposium in Kathmandu, Nepal. The theme of the symposium was “Establishment of a Multi-Sectoral Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) in Nepal.” Dr. Quazi Quamruzzaman, chairperson of A-PAD, kicked off the symposium with a video welcome message.
With more than 160 participants, the symposium benefitted from a diverse group of stakeholders. Special guests representing the Government of Nepal included the Hon. Bal Krishna Khand (Minister of Ministry of Home Affairs) and the Hon. Umesh Shrestha (State Minister of the Prime Minister’s Office). Other notable guests included the interim Charge d’Affaires of the Embassy of Japan and representatives from local CSOs and the private sector.
The symposium was organized into three parts: the opening ceremony, presentations from member countries, and a panel discussion. Minister Khand formally inaugurated the event by lighting the candle in the Panas followed by the national anthem. Representatives from various CSOs gave speeches promoting the establishment of a multi-sectoral DRR platform in Nepal.
As the chief guest, Minister Khand then reaffirmed the importance of multi-sectoral DRRM and community resilience. Recalling the 2015 earthquake, he stated that more than 34 countries supported Nepal in search and rescue operations, relief distribution, and rehabilitation. This featured the value of mutual assistance and cooperation which are invaluable to effective disaster response. He advised that early warning systems, disaster preparedness in vulnerable locations, and real-time data dissemination are necessary to save life and property.
Ms. Kaori Neki and Mr. Firzan Hashim from A-PAD led the next session. They shared the history and experiences of the A-PAD platform, how other member countries are operating within the platform, and the contextual relevance of the platform in Nepal.
The following session was the panel discussion on establishing a multi-sectoral DRRM platform in Nepal. Panelists included DRRM expert Sunil Sun Shakya, former Secretary Dr. Man Bdr Bishwakarma, NDRRMA spokesperson Dr. Dijan Bhattarai, Mr. Shekhar Golchha, President of FNCCI, and Mr. Firzan Hashim, COO of A-PAD. The moderator of the panel discussion was Mr. Uttam Niraula, Executive Director of SOCH Nepal. Dr, Bishwakarma shared that for every one dollar invested in disaster risk reduction, we can save $13 in relief and response. Participants had the opportunity to submit their questions and the panelists responded to each one.
The inaugural symposium was an overwhelming success. The urgent need to establish a multi-sectoral DRR platform was endorsed by all participants and A-PAD received positive feedback on the event. A-PAD would like to thank everyone for their participation and we look forward to continuing the symposium to develop ties to improve disaster preparedness in Nepal.