“Experiences of Participating Countries in Dealing with Emergencies and the Need to Establish a Regional Emergency Management Centre”
Regional cooperation in emergency situations
18. February 2010. | 09:55 10:13
The countries of Southeast Europe do not have the capacity to fight consequences of emergency situations and natural hazards on their own and therefore Serbia and Russia have decided to launch an initiative for the establishing of a regional center for emergency situations.
An international ministerial conference “Experiences of Participating Countries in Dealing with Emergencies and the Need to Establish a Regional Emergency Management Centre” held in the Hyatt Hotel in Belgrade.
At the opening of the conference Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic said that regional cooperation is necessary in order to ensure the prosperity of Southeastern Europe and that the Serbian government is also willing to cooperate on a joint response in emergency situations.
The Serbian prime minister pointed out that emergency situations require joint and organized action and the formation of strong operations teams.
Cvetkovic noted that Serbia wants to find a way for the countries in the region to mount a joint response to emergency situations that have caused millions of Euros' worth of damages.
The conference has been attended by the delegation of Russia, headed by Minister of Emergency Situations Sergei Shoigu, who is also the co-chair of the conference, and the delegations of Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Denmark, Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Cyprus, Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, FYRMacedonia and Slovenia.
Deputy Prime Minister Ivica Dacic stated that the project of establishing of the regional center for emergency situations in Nis is intended for humanitarian not military activities.
"This is not one of the projects with military purpose, as the public said, it is intended for humanitarian activities" that are based on the assessment saying that the regional states should organize and form a center which could offer urgent help in case of fire, flood or earthquakes, Dacic said.
"It is planned for a certain number of Russian aircrafts for fire extinguishing to be located in Nis during summer so as to reduce the time needed for providing adequate help to the states which are endangered by extremely high temperatures," he said.
According to him, it was planned for the center to educate and train personnel for emergency situation reactions - floods, technical-technological incidents, forest fires, land-slides, etc.
Russian Minister for Emergency Situations Sergei Shoigu said that the opening of a regional centre for emergency situations will help fight fires, floods and other emergency situations.
The countries of Southeast Europe do not have the capacity to fight consequences of emergency situations and natural hazards on their own and therefore Serbia and Russia have decided to launch an initiative for the establishing of a regional center for emergency situations, Russian Emergency Situations Minister Sergei Shoigu stated.
Shoigu pointed out that the Balkan regional center could be an example to the whole Europe since comprehensive European mechanism for reactions in such situations is needed.
Shoigu said that the center should include reserves of funds and equipment for emergency situation reactions, be a place of exchange, introduction and designing of anti-fire technologies and an information center.
The Russian minister recalled that the Russian emergency situation aviation has its headquarters at the Nis airport and therefore the countries of Southeast Europe can use its help in extinguishing forest fires, adding that Russia may take part in mine sweeping of the Serbian territory.
According to him, the idea is that a number of Russian airplanes for fire fighting are located in Nis during summer months.
Shoigu announced that Russia would soon open two more such centres – in Asia and Africa.
Serbian Interior Minister Ivica Dacic and Shoigu signed an agreement on establishing of a joint humanitarian center for urgent reaction in case of fire, flood or earthquakes in Nis October 21, 2009.
On the occasion, the two ministers stated that the center in Nis should become a regional one in order to offer quick and efficient help in emergency situations to the countries of Southeast Europe.