December 14th, 2011
Natural disasters are inevitable phenomena. However, the way we respond to them and try to manage the crisis makes a great difference in lowering their damaging impacts. Inspired by the recent earthquake in the region of Van, Turkey which caused around 700-1000 casualties mostly due to falling debris and house collapse, and around 1 billion TRY to 4 billion TRY (approx. 555 million USD – 2.2 billion USD) in total economic losses, the Conflict Resolution club undertook the responsibility of accumulating and sharing knowledge from distinguished Albanian and Turkish personalities on the approach that the leaders and the society should have when confronting with natural disasters.
To understand this process, it is crucial noting the different aspects that states use to handle the situation after and during the natural disasters which then leads to different outcomes. For instance, when looking at the case of the Japan earthquake, even why it had grave consequences because of its proximity to the nuclear plants, they handled the situation for a relatively short time. However, on the other hand when developing states or mostly Third World Countries face with such crisis the negative impacts are to last longer although the level of the damage may be lower. In this perspective, the Club consider the human responsibility to play a crucial role in responding to natural disasters.
From a common sense, the fault of the inability to manage such crisis rests upon the governments. However, the awareness of the government regarding this issue is not enough. All the people must be well informed regarding the way how to handle these phenomena and what should they do during these difficult moments.
The project of the Conflict Resolution Club expects served to this purpose by including three main activities.
The opening speech was made by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ahmet Oztas, chairman of the panel.
Afterwards, the renowned writer, politician and diplomat Besnik Mustafaj referred on the topic: “Managing Natural Disasters from a Political Perspective”. He stressed that in such cases a program of disaster preparedness, management, and prevention must be followed.
“Disaster preparedness starts at the local community level; if local resources were insufficient, it would branch out to the national level, and if needed, the international level”. Mr. Mustafaj highlighted.
The second panelist, Prof. Dr. Rustem Gjata, member of the Constitutional Court, talked about “Natural Disasters, Conflict, and Human Rights”, and discussed about the disasters from a lawyer point of view.
“Natural Disaster Management: The role of Engineering and Technology”, was the topic of the third panelists, the engineer Adrian Muceku. He stressed that engineering and technology plays an important role in managing natural disasters.
The last panelist was the psychologist Elvis Popaj. Mr. Popaj addressed to the auditorium "The Psychological Effects of the Natural diasasters".
The closing part of the Conference was devoted to discussions on questions raised by students and other participants on the topic.