The 11th Asia-Pacific Regional Conference of the IFRC concluded in Hanoi, Vietnam in November, after a three-day session. Representing Pakistan at this significant event was the Honorable Chairman of the Pakistan Red Crescent Society, Sardar Shahid Ahmad Laghari.
Held every four years, the AP Conference brings together national associations from the Asia-Pacific and Middle East-North Africa region. This year, the conference saw the participation of 350 delegates from over 50 national associations, the IFRC, international organizations, and the United Nations. Under the theme “Asia-Pacific prepared for disasters,” the AP11 Conference addressed the region’s vulnerability to climate change and natural disasters.
Numerous discussion panels throughout the conference provided a platform for sharing valuable experiences, professional knowledge, and initiatives aimed at enhancing humanitarian connectivity and cooperation in the region. Delegates emphasized the importance of close cooperation between organizations and countries in responding to natural disasters. They highlighted the need for more accurate disaster forecasting to improve preparedness and response capabilities, ultimately minimizing human casualties and losses.
The AP11 Conference conveyed a powerful message that, while the challenges faced by the region are substantial, collective action can generate the strength needed to build an integrated and resilient Asia-Pacific.
During the conference, Chairman Sardar Shahid Ahmad Laghari played an active role in discussions focusing on crucial subjects like climate change, disaster response mechanisms, and health priorities in the Asia-Pacific region. He participated in meetings with leaders from both the Global and Asia Pacific IFRC, as well as heads from several National Societies. Notable among these were the Saudi Red Crescent Authority, Iran Red Crescent Society, Vietnam Red Cross Society, Egyptian Red Crescent, Georgia Red Cross Society, Japanese Red Cross, Fiji Red Cross, Myanmar Red Cross, and Thailand Red Cross, among others.
During these meetings, Chairman Laghari presented honorary shields, recognizing commendable efforts for humanitarian work. The interactions aimed to strengthen bonds and foster collaboration, highlighting the commitment of both organizations to serve humanity and make a positive impact on those in need.
Discussions with leaders such as IFRC Secretary General Jagan Chapagain, Under Secretary General Xavier Castellanos Masjidera, and IFRC Regional Director Alexander Mathew focused on humanitarian interventions and a shared commitment to better serve humanity.
Chairman Laghari’s meeting with Saudi Arabia’s delegation, led by Prince Abdullah bin Faisal Al Saud, Director General of International Cooperation at Saudi Red Crescent Authority, underscored the importance of collaboration in addressing humanitarian challenges.
The conference also provided a platform for collaborative discussions between Chairman Laghari and leaders from the Japanese Red Cross, Fiji Red Cross Society, Myanmar Red Cross, and Thailand Red Cross, among others. The exchanges explored avenues for enhanced cooperation in humanitarian endeavors and disaster risk reduction efforts.
In a significant discussion, Prince Abdullah bin Faisal Al Saud commended Chairman Laghari’s outstanding leadership during the 2022 floods, emphasizing the role of such partnerships in driving impactful global initiatives. Overall, the 11th Asia-Pacific Regional Conference served as a forum for constructive dialogue, collaboration, and shared commitment to addressing humanitarian challenges in the region.