Asia Pacific Alliance for Disaster Management Sri Lanka (A-PAD SL) hosted its annual international symposium for 2021, under the theme of “Crisis in Crises: Unlocking the Power of Alliance towards Innovative Recovery” on 30th August 2022 in Colombo, Sri Lanka. This international symposium focused on the way forward for Sri Lanka amidst the current uncertainty and transform into a resilient nation and a role model to the world.
His Excellency Mr. MIZUKOSHI Hideaki, The Ambassador of Japan to Sri Lanka, graced the occasion as the Chief Guest. In his keynote address, he expressed his appreciation towards A-PAD for their “tireless efforts to enhance disaster preparedness not only in Sri Lanka but also in many other Asian countries” and wished the success of the symposium which also coincided with the 70-year anniversary of diplomatic relations between Japan and Sri Lanka would contribute towards further strengthening the longstanding friendly relations between the two nation states.
In the ceremonial address delivered by Mr. Firzan Hashim, Country Director, A-PAD Sri Lanka, setting the tone of the day’s deliberations, a special focus was laid to transform crises into opportunities and work towards sustainable paradigms to even create new systems or structures. Complementing these sentiments, Major General Sudantha Ranasinghe, Director General, Disaster Management Centre (DMC) drew attention to the impact of disasters and its effect on exacerbating the ongoing crisis affecting all strata of society. The Director General mentioned that “disaster risk management should follow a comprehensive collective approach” highlighting the importance of partnerships in achieving sustainable disaster recovery.
The event incorporated two constructive panel discussions, namely,
- “Revive and Reset: Resilient Recovery as a Counterbalance to Multi-Dimensional Crisis”
- “Regaining Reserves: A Regional Perspective on Robust Economic Action”
A high-powered pool of panelists representing the local private sector, state, academia and international networks shared their expertise on how alliances can be used to facilitate innovative recovery and create stronger institutions for the future. The symposium provided a positive perspective for the panelists as well as for participants in order to identify incredible opportunities amidst crisis while utilizing existing resources in an effective manner. It also provided a platform for all participants to engage in conversation with the panelists and create new partnerships among themselves.
The event also saw 14 members of the A-PAD Search and Rescue Team being awarded with certifications in completing the International Rope Rescue Technical Training – Level 01, which recently saw completion, trained by experts from Japan.
The success of the 7th international symposium is a shared effort amongst many local and international partners. A-PAD Sri Lanka is thankful to H.E MIZUKOSHI Hideaki, The Ambassador of Japan to Sri Lanka for embellishing the event and Embassy of Japan in Sri Lanka for the longstanding relations between both nations. Our warmest gratitude is also extended to the A-PAD Management Office and its leadership for the being our guiding principle, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Japan and the People of Japan for their unwavering commitment to support Sri Lanka to be a resilient nation. Our sincere appreciation to the Connecting Business initiative (CBi) team for the representation and expertise at the event and progressive camaraderie. A-PAD would like to thank the leadership of the Disaster Management Centre for their longstanding partnership and receptivity towards creating a sustainable Sri Lanka.