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TANAH JAMBU, Friday, 05 September 2019 – Students and members of the Command and Staff College had the distinct opportunity to gain invaluable knowledge from two guest lecturers on civil and military coordination for humanitarian and disaster relief operations (HADR). Mr. Nidhirat Srisirirojanakorn from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) in Bangkok, Thailand and Lieutenant Colonel Ho Wan Huo of the Singaporean Army from the Changi Regional Humanitarian Coordination Centre (RHCC) in Singapore delivered a three-day lecture to the 9th Cohort of the Command and Staff College.

The invited guest speaker, Mr. Nidhirat Srisirirojanakorn from the UN OCHA gave an in-depth lesson on the foundation, roles, and principles of coordination for UN humanitarian aid missions in conflict area and disaster relief operations. He stated that the system of diplomatic and legal compliance to work with military and civilian partners must be carefully crafted and implemented to maintain the core UNOCHA principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality, and independence. While not directly engaged in delivering humanitarian assistance, OCHA is the prime facilitator and coordinator for multinational humanitarian operations for the UN. In addition to UN OCHA, LTC Ho from the RHCC presented the roles of the military organisation in HADR operations. RHCC contributes significantly in managing regional and global military efforts in providing all forms of assets and manpower for humanitarian assistance. He emphasised the need to follow the best practices for all Foreign Military Organization (FMO) in coordination of relief operations based on MNF SOP (Ver 3.2 2018) and ASEAN MNC SOP.
The lectures on roles of UN OCHA and RHCC provided the course participants with the best practices and standard operating procedures for HADR operations. The lecturers emphasised the need for proper planning and coordination in a complex environment. The information that was presented will assist the students in the next phase of their operational planning exercise module. But most significantly the UN OCHA and RHCC presentations illustrated the criticality of understanding the importance of civil military relationship and coordination in achieving a successful humanitarian disaster relief operation. The lecture established a solid foundation of knowledge in the classes’ journey towards the successful completion of the 9th Command and Staff Course.