50 Countries. 400 Delegates. All committed to creating a world free of drowning. The 2011 World Conference on Drowning Prevention, held in Vietnam last week, had the mandate to ‘Build a global platform to reduce drowning’.
No small task.
First and foremost, kudos to Justin Scarr who pulled off the impossible – facilitating a diverse group with a wide range of interests towards one common goal – on schedule! The conference was dynamic, informative, and inspiring – well worth the long journey – and made all the more enjoyable by the warmth and generosity of the Vietnamese people.
The importance of the conference was highlighted by the presence of Her Excellency, the Governor-General of Australia, a Deputy Minister for the Vietnamese Government, and representatives from the United Nations, the WHO, UNICEF, The Alliance of Safe Children, International Life Saving, and Royal Life Saving. It was deeply gratifying to see that drowning is being recognized as the global epidemic that it is, at the highest levels.
My overall impressions of what will create lasting change and cut drowning rates permanently over a generation?
Passion. Global Focus. Consistent Messages. Cultural Sensitivity.
Let’s do it!