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
S4allcities (Smart Spaces Safety and Security for All Cities). Smart cities have frontline responsibility to ensure a secure and safe physical and digital ecosystem promoting cohesive and sustainable urban development for the well being of EU citizens. S4AllCities integrates advanced technological and organizational solutions in a market oriented unified Cyber – Physical Security Management framework, aiming at raising the resilience of cities’ infrastructures, services, ICT systems, IoT and fostering intelligence and information sharing among city’s security stakeholders. Three pilot cases, with the engagement of a total of 5 cities in 4 countries (Spain, Romania, Czech Republic, Greece), enable S4ALLCITIES System of Systems to deploy and validate its intelligent components and functionalities on actual environment, ensuring the delivery of solutions and services in line with smart cities emerging requirements, focused on: risk-based open smart spaces security management; cyber security shielding; suspicious activity and behaviour tracking; identification of unattended objects; real-time estimation of cyber-physical risks in multiple locations and measures activation for effective crisis management.
S4ALLCities smart components, integrated within 3 Digital Twin Systems, will demonstrate their technological advances in tackling terrorist attacks with high risk for mass casualties, within the complex environment of open crowded spaces. The multidisciplinary consortium (9 EU countries) will exploit project’s innovative technological systems in the global market providing a cost efficient and market ready integrated solution. S4ALLCities exploitation phase will promote good practices and guidance material across EU cities so as to enhance capacity building of involved stakeholders, reduce the vulnerabilities of public spaces, mitigate the consequences of adversary attacks, raise public awareness and strike a balance between improving security and preserving the open nature of public spaces as well as citizens’ sense of freedom.
The agenda of the event can be found here.