SINGAPORE - Technology can be used to engage and mobilise young people - the new generation of "humanitarian diplomats", said a senior official of the International Red Cross here for a gathering of regional leaders from the world's largest humanitarian organisation.
Mr Bekele Geleta, secretary-general of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, was speaking at the first Humanitarian Lecture Series launched by the Singapore Red Cross on Monday morning. He is on his last visit in the region in his capacity as secretary-general before stepping down in end June.
The new lecture series was started to help the public gain a better understanding of humanitarian work, with leaders in the field sharing their insights and experiences.
Mr Geleta's lecture was part of the 11th annual gathering for Red Cross and Red Crescent leaders in the region, which starts on Monday and closes on Wednesday.
In a speech at the event, Senior Minister of State for Home Affairs and Foreign Affairs Masagos Zulkifli said South-east Asia is no stranger to great humanitarian challenges. The region is stricken by unpredictable weather every year - from typhoons in the Philippines to floods during monsoon seasons. Even Singapore, he added, was not spared, having faced blistering dry weather in the past two months.
Now more than ever, as the successful Typhoon Haiyan efforts proved, international cooperation is key, said Mr Masagos. And the public also has a part to play.
"As the humanitarian challenges become more complex, it is important that the wider public also understands and appreciates these complexities and challenges we face," he said.