Nicosia Risk Forum is an innovative event for the area of South-Eastern Europe, which brings together academic, industrial, governmental, policy, and other societal stakeholders with a significant interest in societal safety. Nicosia Risk Forum 2020 was organized under the auspices of HE the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus Dr. Nikos Christodoulides. Understandably, due to Co-Vid19 restrictions, #NRF2020 took place virtually on the 26th of November 2020.
This year’s theme of #NRF2020 focused on “Regional Collaboration in Societal Safety”. The Covid-19 pandemic and its severe worldwide implications have proven once more that the inherent risks of our increasingly complex and interconnected world significantly challenge the implementation of fundamental societal functions. As disasters have always been and will always be part of our lives, the way societies respond to them is certainly of critical importance. However, preventing such disasters from occurring, preparing for their possible occurrence, and mitigating their potential effects, is a matter of life and death. In these testing times, higher-level initiatives faced challenges in delivering solutions. Regional initiatives can provide support, much needed, at times of crises. Traditional manmade and natural disasters will continue to occur, coupled with the risks brought-on by the pandemic; societal safety and national security become an absolute necessity and regional collaboration a supporting net.
Man-made and natural catastrophes know no borders and the aim of this year’s #NRF2020 is to be the catalyst for the creation of a regional network of governmental organizations, research groups, universities, and research organizations interested in promoting societal safety.
The Covid-19 pandemic and its severe worldwide implications have proven once more that the inherent risks of our increasingly complex and interconnected world significantly challenge the implementation of fundamental societal functions. As disasters have always been and will always be part of our lives, the way societies respond to them is certainly of critical importance. However, preventing such disasters from occurring, preparing for their possible occurrence, and mitigating their potential effects, is a matter of life and death.
The 2020 version of the Nicosia Risk Forum took a radical position, summarized in the following statement: “the next pandemic WILL happen, sooner or later”. It is therefore now the right time to analyze the lessons learned from the handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, and use our experience to discuss the preparedness measures which should be implemented in order to mitigate risks and reduce the effects of the next pandemic. Furthermore, the Forum did not restricted this analysis and discussion to the case of Cyprus, but it assumed a Regional View, focusing on existing cooperation aspects and the need for the development of novel mechanisms that will facilitate the exchange of communication and good practices between the countries of the Eastern Mediterranean Region.
The Nicosia Risk Forum 2020 hosted an impressive array of stakeholders who offered their views on its main theme of the Forum.
First and foremost, we are honored to announce that Dr. Nikos Christodoulides, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus, will deliver the closing Keynote Speech of the Forum on the topic of “Regional Collaboration in Societal Safety“.
Other Speakers of great importance were:
- Ms Paraskevi Micho, Director General, DG ECHO
- Mr Nikos Hardalias, Deputy Minister of Crisis Management and Civil Protection, Hellenic Republic
- Dr Christos Dimas, Deputy Minister of Research and Development, Hellenic Republic
- Dr Nikolas Mastrogiannopoulos, Chief Scientist, Republic of Cyprus
- H.e. Mrs. Claude el Hajal, Ambassador, Lebanese Republic
- Brig. Gen. (res.) Yoram Laredo, Head of NEMA, State of Israel
- Brigadier Anwar Altarawaneh, Director of Civil Defense, Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
- Mr Kyriacos Hadjigeorgiou, Interim Director Civil Defense Cyprus
MIICT (ICT Enabled Public Services for Migration) https://www.miict.eu . Previous research has established that issues of integration, discrimination, employment (and unemployment), incapacity support and education rank highly among migrants of varying demographics; including different age groups, genders, education levels and immigration status. Factors such as autonomy, perception, culture and history, as well as institutional constraints shape the dynamics and experiences of migrants and highlight the complexity of the migration process. This complexity is also said to indicate diversity in the migration and integration process as a result of the almost infinite combination of factors that may impact upon migrants’ experiences; influenced by the relationships between the economic, social, political and cultural factors that exist across a given juncture.
Using a co-design approach, MIICT will design, develop and deploy bespoke solutions that address; a) the management of migrant integration, b) the customisation of services to match migrants’ needs, and c) the need for sustained and improved inclusion of migrants. This evidence-based and inclusive software solution aims to improve labour market access, matching individuals with jobs and development opportunities based upon their specific and unique contexts.
MIICT (ICT Enabled Services for Migration) was conceived with the goal of designing, developing and deploying tools that address the challenge of migrant integration. In service of this goal, the project undertakes to co-create improved ICT-enabled services with migrants, refugees, public sector services, NGOs (Non-Governmental-Organisations) and other interest groups.
By involving research-users at the centre of our approach we address the need to improve and customise the interfaces used to access key public services so that they better address the requirements of migrants and refugees. To achieve this MIICT has undertaken the development of a system to capture the specific socio-cultural, economic and legal contexts of migrants; information that can be shared with public authorities.
The agenda of the event can be found here.