“Regional Seminar on Disaster Response and Humanitarian Assistance Operations” commences

1. Chief Guest, Chief of the Army Staff (CoAS), Gen Chhatra Man Singh Gurung inaugurated the “Regional Seminar on Disaster Response and Humanitarian Assistance Operations” amidst a ceremony held at the Army Headquarters premises on April 3, 2012. The three-day regional seminar is being hosted by Nepalese Army (NA) for the first time. 2. Speaking on the occasion, CoAS Gen Gurung expressed his strong belief that NA, with its available resources has always availed itself at the earliest to serve anyone in need and misery due to disaster. He added that the quick dissemination of information, unique institutional decision making capacity, availability of resources, speedy reaction to the scene of disaster, and the ability to perform during adverse condition has made the NA an ideal instrument to deal with disaster as the "First Responder". Recalling the memories of natural disasters, he emphasizes on a cooperative approach to minimize the human suffering caused by disaster. He further added that this kind of seminar will help in strengthening cooperation, mutual support and understanding amongst the Governments, and between the civilian and military actors involved in humanitarian work. 3. Secretary of Ministry of Home Affairs Mr. Sushil JBR believed that the meeting will provide ample opportunity for Nepal to enhance international cooperation on disaster preparedness and response. 4. During the occasion, Defense Secretary Mr. Madhav Regmi stressed on the need of bilateral or multinational assistance in case of mega disaster and added that the seminar would be a milestone to increase the awareness of disaster response and to practice coordination and cooperation between national and international responders. 5. Chief of the General Staff (CGS), Lt Gen Nepal Bhusan Chand, while delivering the welcome speech, expressed that sharing of experiences by various experts will be very fruitful in the institutionalization of lessons learnt and best practices. 6. Twelve officers from NA, six officers each from Indian Army and USPACOM, and one representative each from Nepal Police, Armed Police Force, SAARC Secretariat, Tribhuwan International Airport, National Society for Earthquake Technology, UNDP, UNOCHA, WFP, Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Information & Communication, Nepal Red Cross Society, International Organization for Migration are participating in the seminar. Likewise, one army officer from Bangladesh and three from Sri Lanka, General Officers of US Army and Residential Defense Attaches of five countries are attending the seminar as observers. 7. High level government officials, head of the security forces, retired army chiefs, media personnel’s, high ranking officers and other ranks of NA were also present on the occasion.