Heraclitus is credited with having said this in 500 BC and over 2500 years later it seems to be a truism with great resonance for all of us who will be attending the Global Terrorism Risk Insurance Conference in Canberra this October.
I cannot make too much of that word ‘us’, for the attendees all face similar challenges and similar opportunities. The terrorist threat is unprecedented and persistent; and our national interests are now threatened at home and overseas. Major cities like Brussels, Paris, Nice and Istanbul have made the headlines having suffered horrific attacks of late. Terrorist groups are increasingly using unconventional weapons, utilising off-the-shelf technology, encrypted messaging and dual use weapons – as seen by the truck attack in Nice. In addition, emerging threats such as cyber-terrorism and the very real spectre of “dirty” chemical and radiological devices loom large.
Balanced against these challenges though are opportunities. Over the last several years, as terrorist attacks have increased in profile and frequency, the need and desire for Terrorism Pools to come together has risen too. We were delighted to host the inaugural National Terrorism Reinsurance Pools Congress last October and we support our friends at the Australian Reinsurance Pool Corporation (ARPC) to whom we have handed the baton and who are hosting this second event in collaboration with OECD.
Our combined desire to provide a platform for increased collaboration and cooperation is vital during the rapidly evolving circumstances in which we find ourselves. Our risk community will continue to benefit by sharing intelligence, knowledge and experience. Whilst it is true that each respective organisation has a focus on their own geography and circumstances, this does not inhibit us working together for the greater good, whilst showing respect for the correct legal checks and balances.
Terrorism is a global phenomenon and we need to face up to it with an internationally joined-up response involving innovation, creativity and collaboration. This is why I will be looking forward to debating and discussing these issues in the context of the broad and stimulating agenda which has been drawn together by the management of ARPC.
Heraclitus was right, we need to embrace change and ensure that international collaboration remains a key element of our strategy going forward.