Stressing on the imperative need for worldwide cooperation in tackling disasters, Shri Chaudhary said that disasters do not respect artificial boundaries created by nation-states. He said that natural calamities often strike with such ferocity that it might erode the years of painstaking development efforts in one sweep. The Minister said disaster response required customized solutions in terms of sudden large-scale transportation needs. He said that India has been able to minimize loss of human lives during disasters due to precise weather forecasting by the India Meteorological Department.
Addressing the gathering Secretary (Border Management) in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Smt. Sneh Lata Kumar remarked that disasters of late have increased in frequency and scale. She observed that the Asia-Pacific region recorded 75% of disasters, resulting in 2/3rd of casualties recorded worldwide. Voicing concern over the very high casualties during the recent earthquakes in China, Japan and Indonesia, she called for devising an effective risk finance and insurance mechanism especially for the poor people.
Secretary (East) in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Shri Anil Wadhwa, Director-General, FICCI, Dr. Arbind Prasad and Joint Secretary (Disaster Management), MHA Shri GVV Sarma also spoke on the occasion.
On the occasion, Shri Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary also inaugurated the Virtual Knowledge Portal (VKP), a web based tool to share knowledge & best practices related to natural disaster risk assessment, mitigation, and response. A meeting of the 24×7 Point of Contact (PoCs) of the East Asia Summit (EAS) countries will also be held during the two-day event.
The two-day Meeting is being attended by the representatives of ASEM and EAS countries. Delegates from International Organizations such as ADPC, UN-SPIDER, UNICEF, UNESCAP, NSET and ECHO are also participating in the deliberations.