Qatar will host the meeting of the leaders of the United Nations' (UN) International Search and Rescue Advisory Group (Insarag) from Monday until March 11. This was announced during a press conference on Sunday.
Addressing the press meet, Lieutenant-Colonel Mubarak Sherida al-Kaabi, Qatar International Search and Rescue Group leader, said the meeting will enhance effective communication and exchange of experiences between the leaders of the participating teams.
“It will benefit the participants in future tasks while taking up efforts to develop global standards for the rapid response of international search and rescue teams during emergencies,” he said.
The official explained that a request was submitted by Qatar on the directives of HE the Commander of the Internal Security Force (Lekhwiya) Major-General Abdulaziz bin Faisal al-Thani to host the conference.
“The International Advisory Office for Search and Rescue Teams office welcomed Qatar's hosting of this meeting for the second time after 2014,” he said.
The meeting will have 65 participants from 33 countries in addition to representatives from four international organisations, including the World Health Organisation and the United Nations Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Some of the participants will attend the meeting virtually.
An accompanying event will be held on the sidelines of the meeting and it will be attended by a number of companies that have been invited to display the latest devices and equipment for search and rescue missions.
Lieutenant-Colonel al-Kaabi said joint exercises will be held on the first two days as part of the meeting with the aim of exchanging experiences and training on the latest methods of search and rescue missions.
He explained that Qatar has been selected as the head of the regional group of search and rescue teams in the Middle East, Europe and Africa for 2023 by Insarag, noting that this comes as a recognition of Qatar's efforts and contributions.
Winston Chang, Insarag global lead and unit head, Emergency Response Section, said the meeting would enhance co-operation between the countries and strengthen ties while helping the member countries learn from each other. “Such initiatives help the members make the rescue mechanisms developed and effective,” he noted.
He praised the relief and rescue work it carried out during the past years, especially the great role played by the Qatari search and rescue team after the Beirut port explosion. "The Qatari team has great capabilities that qualify it to carry out humanitarian tasks with high efficiency," he said.
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