Attention to Crisis Management is an Essential Requirement

  • 5 March 2008

We are undoubtedly living in an age fraught with crises at various levels. Due to multiplicity of factors, the world has suffered crises repeatedly in various spheres, be it economic, climatic, environmental, or related to health. This has raised interest in devising means for tackling various crises through development of plans and strategies, and establishment of structures for coordinating efforts to contain and minimize their adverse effects. Moreover, there is increased awareness of “crisis and disaster management,” which now covers all scientific disciplines taught at universities and education centers, and has become the subject of many studies conducted by research centers around the world.

In this context, the two-day ‘Crisis and Emergency Management Conference’ (CEMC) held in Abu Dhabi, which drew the participation of 15 Arab and foreign countries and over 300 international experts, is highly significant. It reflects the attention UAE pays to the issue of "crisis management" and in raising its awareness among various institutions of the state. The address of His Highness General Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, which was published in the conference brochure, enunciated the vision of the UAE on this issue and reflected an awareness of its importance. He hoped that, “the conference will be the first step for the exchange of experience and knowledge, and the establishment of a regional alliance for making concerted efforts in the management of emergencies and crises.” He affirmed that the leadership of the country had provided support for the continuing efforts of the National Crisis and Emergency Management Authority (NCEMA) to accomplish its tasks and achieve its goals.

The reference of His Highness Sheikh Mohammad to a collective regional effort for crisis and emergency management shows a deep understanding of the nature and kinds of crises raging around the world that cannot be addressed singly by states, especially if they are related to natural disasters like earthquakes and hurricanes or are man-made like nuclear emissions. Thus, it is important to prepare for broad international cooperation to fight such disasters.

Crises and emergencies have become realities of modern life because of rapid and enormous pace of development and change. The greater rate of development, the greater the likelihood of such crises and emergencies. Irrespective of the severity or suddenness of these disasters, good preparation will always lessen their impact. Confronting these crises will be more effectively addressed, if they are collectively and institutionally understood and addressed.