Group photo with guests of honour at the opening ceremony of the 30th Session of the Panel on Tropical Cyclones. The ceremony was presided over by H.E. Mr. Rao Sikandar Iqbal, Federal Minister of Defence and H.E. Lt. General Hamid Nawaz, Secretary of Ministry of Defence of Pakistan (seated fifth and sixth from left respectively). Dr. Q.Z. Chaudry, Director General of Pakistan Meteorological
Department (seated third from right) was elected as Chairman of the Panel for 2003-04.
The Panel on Tropical Cyclones for the Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea, which was established by WMO and UNESCAP in 1972, held its 30th Session from 4 to 10 March 2003 to review progress and achievements in 2002 and discuss its programme of work in the coming years. The Session was attended by representatives of Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Oman, Pakistan and Sri Lanka and observers from Nepal, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and Asian Disaster Reduction Center (ADRC). The session was also attended by representatives from WMO, UNESCAP and TSU. The Session included also one-day technical conference on “Tropical cyclone-related disasters and poverty alleviation in the Panel area” and discussed the findings of a recent comprehensive survey undertaken by UNESCAP in cooperation with WMO and TSU to aim at further strengthening cooperation among the members. Important findings of the Session related to achievements and future activities on regional cooperation for mitigation of cyclone-related disasters are expected to be presented by Dr. Qamar-uz-Zaman Chaudhry (Pakistan), Chairman of the Panel for 2003-04 at the Flood Session of the Third World Water Forum to be held in Kyoto, Japan on 18-19 March 2003.