'NRNA Australia Disaster Emergency and Pandemic Conference' concluded

Canberra: Non-Resident Nepalese Association-(NRNA) Australia Disaster Emergency and Pandemic Conference 2021 concluded on Saturday in the Australian Capital-Canberra. The conference was organized by NRNA Australia Disaster, Emergency and Crisis Management Taskforce (DECMT) in Association with Embassy of Nepal Canberra, Nepal Science Foundation Trust(NSFT), Australian Nepalese Medical & Dental Association(ANMDA) and Federation of Nepalese Community Associations (FeNCAA).

Nepalese Ambassador to Australia Mahesh Raj Dahal virtually inaugurated the conference from Kathmandu and announced the release of a new book titled “Dissecting the pandemic Covid-19”  written by Nepalese scholars Dr Bharat Raj  Poudel, Dr Ram Krishna Niraula and Dr Raju Adhikari in Australia. On the conference, NRNA International Coordination Committee-ICC Chief Patron Dr Shesh Ghale delivered the keynote remarks on the theme of NRNA and its engagement in humanitarian support in Nepal and Diaspora. The conference kicked off with welcome remarks from NRNA Australia Vice President and ACT State Co-Ordinator Chudamani Sapkota followed by the special remarks of NRNA ICC Vice President Mana KC, Nepalese Consul-General of NSW Deepak Khadka, Deputy Chief of Mission-DCM of Nepal Embassy Canberra Durapada Sapkota, NRNA Australia President Keshab Kandel. Australian Nepalese Journalist Association-ANJA President Hemanta Kafle, Task Force Coordinator Dr Bharat Raj Poudel, FeNCAA President Raju Adhikari, Dr Ram Krishna Niroula, NRNA Australia Treasurer Anil Pokharel, NRNA spokesperson Nanda Gurung and NSW vice President Deb Gurun in presence of NRNA leaders, academics, scholars and social workers.

The first session of the conference concluded with launch of the book titled “Dissecting the pandemic Covid-19” co-authored by Dr Poudel, Dr Niroula and Dr Raju Adhikari. NRNA past president Dr Ghale in his special speech highlighted the balance sheet of the humanitarian supports provided by NRNA in different disasters events of the past citing NRNA's engagement in humanitarian and disaster relief efforts throughout the globe was commendable. On the occasion NRNA ICC president Kumar Pant sent a congratulatory message to the cenference organiser and Book editors. Likewise NRNA ICC past president Jiba Lamichhane and current General secretary Dr Hemraj Sharma delivered their short remarks through virtual technology.

In the programme, book was jointly launched by Nepalese Consul-General Deepak Khadka, NRNA ICC president Mana KC and Deputy Chief of Mission of Nepal Embassy Durapada Sapkota.The editorial team has expressed their commitments that they will continue publishing series of books in the years ahead and the team will be extended to five members along with Australian Nepalese scholars and scientists Dr Poudel, Dr Adhikari, Niraula, Dr Bandita Mainali and Dr Jyoti KC.

During the technical session many outstanding papers were presented by academics social workers and NRNA leaders. The plenary talk was given by Principal Scientist, Member Secretary SK&TT Department ICC, Dr Raju Adhikari followed by invited talks from the Deputy Chief of Nepali Mission, Embassy of Nepal, Durapada Sapkota, FeNCAA General Secretary Dr Krishna Hamal, Dr ANMDA President Dr Chandra Deepak Pokharel, Development specialist Dr Hemanta Ojha, Dr Rupak Aryal, Punam Panta, Dr Bandita Mainali, Dr Jyoti KC, Dr Ramesh Sunam and NRNA Australia President Keshav Kandel

NRNA Australia General Secretary Dr Gyanendra Regmi conducted all 3 sessions as a moderator. Conference was coordinated by DECMT coordinator Dr Bharat Raj Poudel. 

The conference concluded with following 14 points declaration:

1. The Disaster conference is the first conference and should be held as an annual event

2. The conference included eight different presentations to cover various aspects of COVID pandemic management and impacts in Nepal.

3. All presentation materials, conference booklet and book should be shared on NRNA webpage.  

4. The conference recognised and highlighted the strength and role of NRNA, Community organisations, professional organisations like AMDA in COVID pandemic crises mitigation both physical and mental health crises.

5. Conference appreciated the role of media and recognised the role of media partnership in crises management to raise greater awareness and mitigation efforts campaigns

6. Sign MOU between Nepal Embassy and Community organisations to work jointly in future crises management.

7. DECMT work closely with NRN Australia Pandemic Committee

8. DECMT, NAST, NSFT, SK&TT to explore the feasibility to launch jointly Disaster Journal in the future.

9. NRNA and Disaster Task force to apply for Federal and State Government Grants and send representation to the Australia Government Disaster Committee.

10. The continuation and publication of 2nd issue with larger contributions on the pandemic crises is recommended.

11. Work closely with Embassy to liaison with Nepali government efforts

12. Nepal Embassy, NAST and NRNA proposed Virology Lab proposal to be pursued

13. FeNCAA support role at policy levels with Australian Government is necessary.

14. NRNA SK&TT Department to play a proactive role in transfer of knowledge and innovation in disaster areas.