Crisis and Emergency Management Summit begins in Abu Dhabi under the patronage of H.H Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed Al Nahyan Tuesday, May 09, 2023 Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Ruler of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and National Security Adviser, the first day of the Crisis and Emergency Management Summit - Abu Dhabi 2023 to run on the 9th and 10th of May at the St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, organized by the National Crisis Emergency and Disasters Management Authority, has begun. The summit brings together leaders, academics, experts, and scientists from around the world specializing in emergencies, crisis and disaster management with the aim of raising the preparedness of the emergency and crisis system. It consolidates global efforts in the sector and highlights the future of emergency and crisis management during the time of growing threats and risks around the world and reinforces the importance of anticipating and foreseeing future risks to enhancing the global response of crises and emergencies. His Excellency Dr. Anwar Mohammed Gargash, Diplomatic Advisor to the UAE President, in his keynote speech at the summit, thanked and appreciated the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority for the invitation to participate in the seventh edition of CEMS. He said, “I extend my sincere thanks to NCEMA and the organizers of this summit, one of the most significant and specialized events in the region. It is an honor to be among the best in the field.” H.E. Gargash explained that entities related to crises and emergencies are crucial to ensure the security of nations, for reasons that there are some groups that exploit humanitarian events to give them a promotional and ideological platform that serves their self-interests and political orientations. Despite this, previous experiences have proven that the national capacity of the nation and the efficiency of its crisis and disaster management is the most important element in dealing with threats and natural disasters. His Excellency H.E. Obaid Rashid Al Hosan Al Shamsi, Vice President of the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority, said that the two-day summit will discuss the future of emergency and crisis management including the promotion of the utilization of smart technologies to predict crises and manage risks to reduce their impact and ramifications with the participation of senior officials from national, regional and global security and crisis management bodies, and a number of esteemed experts, specialists and stakeholders who have practical, realistic and academic experience in the field. H.E. Al Shamsi stressed the keenness of the wise leadership of the United Arab Emirates to strengthen cooperation and partnership with countries from around the world to share experiences and exchange ideas based on the highest standards of best practices and efforts in crisis and disaster management. He added that the summit objective is to strengthen its role and capacities in response to emergencies, crises and disasters, thereby developing higher emergency response and capabilities in the UAE to safeguard the safety and stability of the country, its community, and its achievements. H.E. Al Shamsi also emphasized on the importance of the summit in integrating the proactive measure of finding solutions to immediate crises and the importance of strategic analysis, which further galvanizes the UAE’s ability to remain a role model in the field and enhance its reputation on a global level. For his part, H.E. Hamad Saif Al Kaabi, Director of Hazardous Materials Incidents Department at the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority, highlighted the transboundary risks that can be mitigated by uniting national and international efforts. He said, "Transboundary risks pose a serious threat that affects societies, their integrity, and stability. It is essential to establish sustainable managements systems that involve proper governance and utilize modern technology that are appropriate to conditions and develop suitable strategies, employ the right capacities, and invest efficiently to confront risks.” For his part, H.E. Dr. Saif Juma Al Dhaheri, Director of the National Operations Center of the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority, said: “In the past few years, we witnessed a major crisis and had to respond to threats at national and international levels, therefore it is necessary today to develop a comprehensive and integrated vision for the future of emergencies and crises management to be well-prepared for the next generation of risks through continuous monitoring and analysis of all possible threats and their ramifications.” H.E. Al Dhaheri stressed the need for data analysis and processing to support development, improve preparedness and enhance humanitarian provisions as proactive steps to respond to foreseeable and unforeseen disasters. For her part, Mariam Yaed Al Qubaisi, Official Spokesperson for CEMS, said: “The summit examines the future of emergency management considering the growing threats and risks in the world today. It promotes the integration of smart technologies such as artificial intelligence to predict crises and manage risks to reduce the impact of calamities, with an international participation of senior officials, experts and academics from local and international related entities.” Al Qubaisi pointed out that under the current circumstances, the world's attention is on CEMS – Abu Dhabi 2023 for it to come up with positive results such as useful and effective recommendations that greatly contribute to the security of our societies, especially as the summit has been successful since its first edition in 2008. The global event ranks high in terms of regional and international attention, which attracts valuable groups of experts and strategists from all over the world, including prominent global and regional figures. H.E. Dr. Mohamed Al Kuwaiti, Head of the Cybersecurity Council of the United Arab Emirates, stated that the Crisis and Emergency Management Summit - Abu Dhabi 2023 is a vital global platform for discussing the future of the emergency, crisis and disaster management, including prevention, preparedness, response and recovery measures. He added that the UAE, under the guidance of its wise leadership, has topped global competitiveness indicators in the field of cybersecurity, ranking fifth globally in terms of advanced digital infrastructure and national policies and standards that are capable of achieving the nation’s strategic objectives, protecting the digital world and managing related emergencies according to the highest standards of global and national best practices. The UAE has held many international partnerships and practices related to cybersecurity that have made a positive impact in terms of enhancing responsiveness and proactiveness in addressing risks and threats online such as cyber-attacks targeting critical sectors while ensuring readiness, enhancing preventive measures, and ensuring that recovery measures are in place. H.E. Al Kuwaiti emphasized on the importance of establishing integrated national projects such as the Comprehensive National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Network called “R100” or Response 100, that serves all levels and segments of society at all key stages to drive the pace of achieving the national vision of creating a safe and resilient nation supported by technological advanced tools such as the national cloud, big data and artificial intelligence systems. For her part, Loretta Hieber Girardet, Chief of Risk Knowledge, Monitoring and Capacity Development Branch at the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), said: ‘Disaster and risk management is not only about emergency response but also about proactively understanding risks to take pre-emptive steps to avoid them before disasters occur by planning and preparing well. Girardet stressed the importance of climate and urban resilience and the need for effective governance, data gathering and analysis, as well as efficient investment to develop and implement successful response and resilience strategies. Dr. Adnan Olwan, retired Major General of the Armed Forces and expert in strategic management of crises and emergency from the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, said that CEMS - Abu Dhabi 2023 is one of this year's highlights. “It is a bright spot in the field of modern crisis management as it brings attention to various concepts and strategies that contribute to strengthening and building capacities to deal with crises, especially for the new generation of leaders and people working in the field”, he said. For his part, Richard Hannah, Lead Advisor for the Humanitarian and Disaster Management of the New Zealand Ministry, said: "I am honored by this opportunity to participate in the Crisis and Emergency Management Summit - Abu Dhabi 2023 and thank the UAE’s National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority for hosting this important event.” He added, “In a world that is constantly threatened by crises, we must continue to strengthen our emergency management systems and crisis response policies and practices, especially in light of increasing threats of climate change.” Hannah explained that the summit brings together a group of experts and specialists so that we can share perspectives on current challenges and share experiences to develop best practices. He also added that he looks forward to talking about New Zealand's experience in responding to disasters and emergencies in the Pacific region. Memorandums of Understanding During the summit, The National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Islamic Republic of Mauritania during the summit. The memorandum aims to build a strong cooperation between the two parties in emergency, crisis and disaster management to address risks that may arise because of human factors or natural causes. The memorandum was signed by H.E. Ali Rashid Al Neyadi, Director-General of NCEMA, and by Major General Khattar Mohamed M’Bareck, General Delegate for Civil Security and Crisis Management, for the Republic of Mauritania. Memorandum of Understanding with G42 The National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Presight AI of G42 during the summit to enhance cooperation between the two parties through the exchange of expertise in Information and Communication Technology, as well as to raise awareness, build educational programs, and conduct modern scientific and development research. The MoU was signed by H.E. Ali Rashed Al Neyadi, Director General of NCEMA, and Dr. Adel Alsharji, Chief Operating Officer of G42’s Presight AI. Day 1 agenda of CEMS The agenda for first day of the summit included keynote speeches by NCEMA‘s Fahed Buti Al Muhairi, Official Spokesperson of the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority, in which he addressed topics from the UAE's crisis and emergency field, as well as a keynote address by H.E. Dr. Anwar bin Mohammed Gargash, Diplomatic Advisor to the UAE President, and Loretta Hieber Girardet, Chief of Risk Knowledge, Monitoring and Capacity Development Branch of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction – Switzerland. The events of the first day included the holding of 3 main sessions on the first pillar, entitled "Employ the Comprehensive Instruments of Power in National Risk Management", a discussion on integrating elements to respond to any emergency or crisis professionally and efficiently. Dr. Goh Moh Heng, President of Business Continuity Management Institute Singapore; Jeffrey Saunders, CEO of Nordic Foresight – Denmark; and James Morse, President of Rabdan Academy were the speakers, and the session was moderated by Fadila Suoissi, SkyNews Arabia presenter. The second session was devoted to discussing how to overcome any anticipated challenges in the crisis and emergency response system and coordination mechanisms between government institutions and related sectors, entitled "Challenges of Integration and Strategic Balance Between Sectors", with the participation of speakers Prof. Waheguru Pal Sidhu, Clinical Professor and Director of the Center for Global Affairs (United Nations) – USA; Ms. Myriam Urzúa Venegas, Head of the Risk Management and Civil Protection Secretariat of Mexico City; Mr. Richard Hannah, Lead advisor of the Humanitarian and Disaster Management New Zealand Ministry; and Dr. Ardhasena Sopaheluwakan, Director of the Center for Applied Climate Services Agency for Meteorology Climatology and Geophysics – Indonesia. The session was moderated by Dr. Mohamed Al Ali, CEO and Founder of the new TRENDS R&A. The third session, entitled "Cross Border Risks", discussed the dangers affecting most of the world's countries, requiring collective engagement from the international community to address their risks, not only for the countries but others as well. The session was addressed by H.E. Hamad Saif Al Kaabi, Director of Hazardous Materials Incidents Department of the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority; H.E. Dr. Mohamed Al Kuwaiti, Head of the UAE Cybersecurity Council of the UAE, and Prof. Raina Maclntyre, Professor of Global Biosecurity and Head of Biosecurity Program at the Kirby Institute – Australia. The session was moderated by Chantal Saliba, SkyNews Arabia presenter.