Written by Amir Noor
Wednesday, 03 March 2010 07:29
Bandar Seri Begawan - Members of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) from across the Southeast Asian region gathered for the Southeast Asia Organisational Development (OD) Forum yesterday to share and discuss each respective country's diverse experience, perspective and knowledge about various issues to be discussed at the forum.
Brunei is the host of the three-day Southeast Asia OD Forum this year which is held at Asma Hotel with more than II IFRC attending from the Southeast Asian region.
"The OD Forum is an annual event and this year, the IFRC has given the Brunei Darussalam Red Crescent Society (BDRCS) great confidence, and it's not only a responsibility but a privilege and opportunity to learn and be exposed further," said Chairman of the Organising Committee Hj Julaini Abdul Latip.
The forum will be focusing on three main topics with discussions in groups on volunteering, humanitarian diplomacy and headquarters/ branch relationships and decentralisation, which are very crucial and significant to the organisational development in every Red Cross and Red Crescent Society.
Also taking the stage to present his welcoming remarks was Hisham Harun Hashim, Deputy National Chairman of Malaysian Red Crescent Society and Board Member of IFRC. In his speech, Hisham Harun mentioned BDRCS as taking an active role as a member in the IFRC by hosting this year's OD Forum.
He added that in the past 20 years, the members of the IFRC that are most active are those in the Southeast Asian region and with this, he takes most pride in. He said that there has been a strong unity within this region which has presented many opportunities in exchanging experiences and better partnerships between countries.
Speaking on behalf of the guest of honour was Hj Abdul Malik Hj Mohammad, the personal representative of the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, who said that the three main topics up for discussion at the forum are very important issues for strategic development of national societies with well-developed and pro-active human resource or manpower required for saving lives in times of catastrophe.
"At the same time, practising humanitarian diplomacy with crucial commitment will uphold the seven fundamental principles of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement: Humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary, unity and universality," said Hj Abdul Malik.
He also highlighted volunteering among youth members in particular in order to maximise their contribution in crucial times.
"As far as the youth are concerned, Brunei Darussalam has developed a national policy on youth which focuses on creating excellent youths who have strong discipline, responsibility, dynamics and are committed towards nation building," said the personal representative.
Forum coordinator Aekarad Rakwanat told The Brunei Times that there will also be outdoor activities held at the Bukit Shahbandar Recreational Park for all the 32 delegates.
"With the help of the BDRCS and Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, there will be sections of interactivity between the delegates and the locals as we will have activities in the Bukit Shahbandar area," said Aekarad.
"This will act as a break from constant talks and meetings, but also a good exchange of culture and knowledge," he added.
The forum will be held for three days and will end on March 4 at the Asma Hotel in Jerudong.
LR Asma Hotel at Jerudong, the forum venue
-- Courtesy of The Brunei Times via BruDirect.COM