For the first time, the ACMC partnered with the Malaysian Peacekeeping Centre (MPC) to deliver a Civil-Military Interaction Workshop (CMIW) from 5-11 April 2015. The CMIW was a highly successful workshop, which was particularly pleasing given the physical distance between Australia and Malaysia, demonstrating the importance of respect and trust between our organisations and individuals.
CMIW was officially opened by the Malaysian Minister of Defence, Dato’ Seri Hishammudin bin Tun Hussein and was attended by the Malaysian Chief of Defence Force, General Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Dr Zulkifeli bin Zin, Australia’s Deputy High Commissioner to Malaysia, Dr Angela MacDonald and ACMC’s Executive Director, Dr Alan Ryan.
This workshop brought together senior practitioners from a range of ASEAN and Indo-Pacific nations to hear about key issues and organisations in Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Response (HADR). Presentations covered the capabilities and concerns of agencies of the UN, regional military, police, other government agencies, civil society organisations and, importantly, the private sector. Participants discussed a number of recent disasters, including the Great East Japan earthquake, Typhoon Haiyan, Yellow floods in the East Coast of Malaysia and the recent cyclone Pam in Vanuatu.
Participants also had the opportunity to learn from each other, which is important given they are likely to work together in responding to future natural disasters and other crises. Presentations were given by participants from Malaysia, Australia, Japan, Laos, Thailand, Indonesia and the United States of America.
Malaysian Minister of Defence, Dato’ Seri Hishammudin bin Tun Hussein challenged course participants to make a contribution in support of the establishment of an ASEAN Ready Group. This initiative is indicative of the goodwill and readiness within our region to work together to improve our ability to conduct HADR operations. This will no doubt lead to improved effectiveness in providing support to our neighbours in their greatest time of need. The participants worked hard to develop lists of factors for consideration, as well as challenges and obstacles, to be faced in establishing and operating an ASEAN Ready Group.
The ACMC was very grateful for support from Post Kuala Lumpur for supporting the CMIW. Australia’s Deputy Head of Mission, Dr Angela MacDonald delivered a presentation that allowed her to share her experiences in Afghanistan and the MH17 operation.
The ACMC looks forward to working together again with MPC and representatives of other nations in future CMIW and other activities, as well as other ACMC engagements with the region at conferences and exercises.
Photos from this workshop are stored on the ACMC’s Flickr account. To access the photos please click here.
Mr Greg Elliott, Deputy Executive Director, ACMC with Malaysian Chief of Defence Force, General Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Dr Zulkifeli bin Zin present the CMIW Certificate to Colonel Eamon Lenaghan.
CMIW Malaysia Course Participant Photo.