VOLUNTEER Relief OrganiSation Mercy Malaysia together with Sunway University and the Jeffrey Cheah Foundation hosted the fourth Sultan Nazrin Shah Lecture Series on “Migration, Displacement and the Age of Humanitarian Crisis” in Sunway University last week.
The lecture series was attended by over 300 participants from local and international non-governmental organisations, academic institutions, government bodies, embassy officials, UN agencies, corporate partners as well as individuals.
Since 2012, the lecture series, named after Mercy Malaysia’s patron, has continuously raised awareness among the general public on humanitarian issues as well as initiatives undertaken by various bodies for the common goal of alleviating human suffering.
This year’s lecture series saw distinguished speakers and participants discussing one of the world’s current and biggest humanitarian issues – forced displacement, refugees and migration.
Tragedies such as armed conflict and natural disasters can cause injuries, loss of lives and severe damage to infrastructure as well as long-term psychological effects.
This phenomenon is an unfortunate representation of immense human suffering as affected communities spanning both the young and old are forced to flee from their homes to escape the horrors.
As a result, the number of global forced displacement has recently escalated and hit a record high.
“We have seen the extent of the migration and displacement issues through Mercy Malaysia’s humanitarian missions whether it is with the Syrian Refugees in Lebanon or the Rohingya in Myanmar.
Together with our partners, this year’s Sultan Nazrin Shah Lecture Series highlights the crisis we are facing through in-depth discussions on the topic.
“We are encouraged that the lecture series is able to provide a platform for the exchange of ideas and present possible solutions pertaining to global migration and displacement,” said Mercy President Datuk Dr Ahmad Faizal Mohd Perdaus.
Sunway Group Founder and Chairman Tan Sri Dr Jeffrey Cheah said, “The number of people currently forcibly displaced from their homes is the highest since the end of World War II.
“The gap between humanitarian needs and the international community’s capacity to respond is widening.
“Organisations such as Mercy Malaysia play a crucial role in trying to bridge this gap with their dedicated volunteers.
“But more concerted international action is needed to resolve the crisis and strengthen the global community’s efforts to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
“We at Sunway University are pleased to partner with Mercy Malaysia in hosting this year’s edition of the Sultan Nazrin Shah Lecture Series to help raise awareness of this issue and inspire our younger generation to take action and make the world a better place.”
The keynote for this year’s lecture series was presented by International Organisation for Migration (IOM) Director General Ambassador William Lacy Swing, and the event was graced by the Sultan of Perak Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah.
The moderator and panellists included Institute of Strategic and International Studies (ISIS) Malaysia former chairman and chief executive Tan Sri Mohamed Jawhar Hassan, International Council of Voluntary Agencies Executive Director Nan Buzard, and IOM Regional Director Dr Nenette Motus.
Cheah presented a donation of RM100,000 to Mercy Malaysia for its humanitarian efforts to assist vulnerable communities locally and abroad.