NEWS | Sept. 9, 2021

U.S. Consulate General Chennai Hosts Virtual Conference on Disaster Management and Cooperation Across the Indo-Pacific

CHENNAI, U.S. Embassy & Consulates in India --
The U.S. Consulate General Chennai, in association with the National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR), hosted a two-day virtual conference titled “Nontraditional Security Challenges in South Asia: Improving Disaster Management Cooperation” on September 8-9, 2021.

The conference was aimed to create a framework for cooperation on disaster management and improve capacity, coordination, and regional connectivity for disaster management efforts in the region and the broader Indo-Pacific.

Experts in policy, public health, energy, technology, and disaster management sectors from the United States, India, and several countries within the Indo-Pacific region attended the conference and shared their recommendations on disaster management. A white paper will be prepared and shared with government agencies, think tanks, academia, community-based organizations, and other key stakeholders across Indo-Pacific nations.

In her welcome remarks on September 8, U.S. Consul General in Chennai Judith Ravin said, “The United States, like India, provides relief and recovery to disasters not just within its borders but beyond, to nations around the world. I am optimistic that the learnings from this conference will set new standards on Indo-Pacific cooperation in the area of disaster preparedness and response.”

Gagandeep Singh Bedi, IAS, Principal Secretary and Commissioner of Chennai, who has successfully led rescue and relief of major natural and man-made disasters in Tamil Nadu, in his keynote address said, “The cities always have to be prepared for disaster management as disasters are occurring very frequently across the globe. The managerial capabilities and the strengths of an organization are tested during the disasters… Each and every city local body, state, and central governments should keep themselves prepared to handle disasters.”

Speaking on the occasion, Ms. Ashley Johnson, Director of Energy and Environmental Affairs at the National Bureau of Asian Research, said, “We are very fortunate to have the opportunity to collaborate with the U.S. Consulate General in Chennai to bring together a wide-ranging network of experts and create a framework on collective action for disaster management. Fora like this can help identify gaps in our understanding and improve coordination across disciplines to strengthen our approach to disaster resilience.”

Photo Caption: U.S. Consul General Judith Ravin gave her remarks in the presence of Gagandeep Singh Bedi, IAS, Principal Secretary and Commissioner of Chennai, and Ms. Ashley Johnson, Director of Energy and Environmental Affairs at the National Bureau of Asian Research, at the inauguration of the two-day virtual conference on Wednesday, September 8, 2021.