Australia hosts 100th United Nations Civil-Military Coordination Course in Canberra

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives from var­i­ous inter­na­tion­al aid agen­cies, Non-Gov­ern­ment Organ­i­sa­tions, a num­ber of Aus­tralian Gov­ern­ment agen­cies includ­ing AusAID and Emer­gency Man­age­ment Aus­tralia, and mem­bers of the Aus­tralian Defence Force have come togeth­er this week to learn about build­ing bet­ter mod­els for coop­er­a­tion in inter­na­tion­al dis­as­ter and emer­gency man­age­ment.

The Asia Pacif­ic Civ­il-Mil­i­tary Cen­tre of Excel­lence is con­duct­ing the Civ­il-Mil­i­tary Coor­di­na­tion Course of behalf of the Unit­ed Nations Office for the Coor­di­na­tion of Human­i­tar­i­an Affairs at the Aus­tralian Fed­er­al Police Col­lege in Can­ber­ra. The course is designed to bring togeth­er var­i­ous play­ers in both the civil­ian and mil­i­tary spheres to improve com­mu­ni­ca­tion and coop­er­a­tion in dis­as­ter relief and peace keep­ing operations. 

The Centre’s Exec­u­tive Direc­tor, Major Gen­er­al (Rtd) Michael G Smith AO, said, “Events hap­pen­ing in the world right now, such as the trag­ic events in flood rav­aged Pak­istan, demon­strate the impor­tance of bet­ter coor­di­na­tion in dis­as­ter management”. 

The Asia Pacif­ic Civ­il-Mil­i­tary Cen­tre of Excel­lence was estab­lished in late 2008 out of an iden­ti­fied need to improve coor­di­na­tion in dis­as­ter and con­flict management.” 

Gen­er­al Smith said, “The Unit­ed Nations pro­gram is in its 14th year, and Can­ber­ra was the 100th course to be run around the world and the sec­ond held in Australia”. 

Since 2004, a total of eight cours­es have been con­duct­ed in our region, ben­e­fit­ing 227 grad­u­ates, 67 of whom are women. Women con­sti­tute a vital com­po­nent in build­ing trust in emer­gency response and in cul­tur­al­ly sen­si­tive situations.” 

He added that a great major­i­ty of course grad­u­ates have gone on to work either direct­ly or in sup­port of emer­gency respons­es to inter­na­tion­al and domes­tic dis­as­ters. For exam­ple, the Haiti earth­quake response involved some 55 course graduates. 

I look for­ward to work­ing with the course grad­u­ates and com­mend their com­mit­ment to work­ing togeth­er and cre­at­ing the build­ing blocks of sta­ble and pros­per­ous soci­eties,” Gen­er­al Smith said. 

Media con­tact: Simon Tidy (APCMCOE): 02 6160 2219 or 0432 186 465 

Press release
Min­is­te­r­i­al Sup­port and Pub­lic Affairs,
Depart­ment of Defence,
Can­ber­ra, Australia 

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