Observation reports from thousands of stations worldwide helped make the work of the Hong Kong Observatory possible, the Observatory's director Mr C Y Lam said today (December 7) as the biggest meeting of heads of weather services hosted in Hong Kong began.
The 13th session of Regional Association II (Asia) - the Asian arm of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) will continue until December 15. Mr Lam is vice-president of the regional association.
Welcoming the oversea delegates, Mr Lam said that developing and operating the two pilot websites on global official city forecasts and worldwide severe weather warnings on behalf of WMO was one of the things Hong Kong has been doing to reciprocate the generous support of the international meteorological community.
The association meets in a formal session once in four years to discuss regional co-operation to improve meteorological services, aiming at the protection of life and supporting social and economic development. The session in Hong Kong is attended by more than 100 delegates from 35 countries/ territories in Asia, senior officials of WMO Secretariat, representatives from related international organisations and observers from weather services from other regions.
At the opening of the session, the Secretary for Economic Development and Labour, Mr Stephen Ip, commended the Hong Kong Observatory for projecting a good public image and moving with the times to meet the changing needs of the community. He said out that the Observatory's achievements would not have been possible without the exemplary international co-operation under the framework of WMO and pledged that it would continue to contribute to international co-operation to address issues of common concern in the region.
The Secretary-General of WMO, Mr Michel Jarraud, and Mr Majeed Isa of Bahrain, Acting President of Region Association II (Asia) also spoke at the opening session.
A wide range of topics covering weather monitoring, information processing, weather services, atmospheric research, climate studies, hydrology, training, technical co-operation and strategic planning will be discussed. Five languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French and Russian) are used in the session, with simultaneous interpretation.
The following is background information about the World Meteorological Organization and Regional Association II (Asia):
The WMO was found in 1950 and is a specialised agency of the United Nations with a membership of 187 Member States and Territories. The primary purpose of WMO is to facilitate worldwide co-operation in the establishment of networks of stations for making meteorological, hydrological and other related geophysical observations. WMO has been playing a unique and powerful role in contributing to the welfare of humanity. Within the framework of WMO programmes, National Meteorological and Hydrological Services have contributed substantially to the protection of life and property against natural disasters, to safeguarding the environment and to enhancing the economic and social well-being of all sectors of society in areas such as food security, water resources and transport. This is facilitated by the free and unrestricted exchange of data and information, products and services in real- or near-real time under the WMO framework.
The 187 members of WMO are grouped under six Regional Associations to co-ordinate meteorological and related activities within their respective regions. Regional Association II (Asia) consists of 35 Members in Asia. They are Islamic State of Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, China; India, Islamic Republic of Iran, Iraq, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyz Republic, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Macau, China; Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Yemen, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan and The Socialist Republic of Vietnam.
Acting President of Regional Association II (Asia), Mr Majeed Isa, addresses the session
Secretary for Economic Development and Labour, Mr Stephen Ip, addresses the session
Secretary-General of WMO, Mr Michel Jarraud, addresses the session
Director of Hong Kong Observatory and Vice President of Regional Association II (Asia), Mr C Y Lam, addresses the session