Foreign ministry spokesman Teuku Faizasyah, center, and Febryan A. Ruddyard, director general of multilateral cooperation, right, attend a press conference on the Regional Conference on Humanitarian Assistance in Jakarta on Tuesday. (JG Photo/Nur Yasmin)

Indonesia Initiates First Regional Conference on Humanitarian Assistance


AUGUST 06, 2019

Jakarta. Indonesia will host the inaugural Regional Conference on Humanitarian Assistance in Jakarta on Thursday and Friday.

The conference, which will focus on enhancing the impact of humanitarian actions in Southeast Asia, forms part of Indonesia's diplomatic initiatives.

"This event is a realization of the foreign minister's diplomatic focus, which is on humanitarian and peacekeeping matters. This is proof of our leadership in humanitarian diplomacy," Febrian A. Ruddyard, director general of multilateral cooperation, said on Tuesday.

Deputy Foreign Minister Abdurrahman M. Fachir will open the conference, which will be attended by nongovernmental organizations from the 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), Japan, South Korea, China, Papua New Guinea, India, Australia and New Zealand.

The conference is expected to adjust the capacity gap between NGOs to provide a platform for them to network with their counterparts and government agencies dealing with disaster management.

"There are many NGOs in the humanitarian field and they have been assisting greatly in countries affected by disasters. To assist across borders, NGOs must coordinate with NGOs in affected countries, and the challenge is that they all have different capacities. There is a gap that may lead to inefficiencies in providing humanitarian assistance," Febryan said.

He said topics to be discussed during the conference include enhancing humanitarian issues nationally and locally, and institution strengthening; enhancing multisectoral collaboration; the protection and involvement of women, children and people with disabilities in disasters; sustainability in humanitarian assistance; and protection of humanitarian actors.

United Nations representatives, academics and members of humanitarian think-tanks will also participate. The expected outcome involves the synchronization of procedures and mechanisms for humanitarian NGOs in deploying assistance to other countries.

"We expect an agreement on standard operating procedure to ease humanitarian assistance distribution, so the approach is ordered and the same across countries," Febryan said.

The ministry is looking at expanding the scope of the conference to an inter-regional and global platform while Indonesia still has a seat on the UN Security Council.