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OAS and Government of Chile Sign Letter of Intent to Support Inter-American Network for Disaster Mitigation

  March 24, 2010

The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, and the Minister of Foreign Relations of Chile, Alfredo Moreno, today signed a Letter of Intent to support the implementation of the Inter-American Network for Disaster Mitigation (INDM).

Its purpose is to promote the exchange of information, knowledge and experiences on Natural Disaster Risk Management and to strengthen planning and disaster management, and to promote the participation of other regional governments in responding more efficiently to natural disasters that affect the Hemisphere.

During the Ceremony, which was held in the office of the Secretary General at Organization headquarters in Washington, D.C., the head of the hemispheric organization asserted that “natural disasters, in all their various forms, are unfortunately much too common in our hemisphere. That is why we must promote INDM and support its development so that all countries of the Americas may exchange experiences, plan together and prevent and respond in a more efficient way when a phenomenon of this type occurs.”

For his part, the Chilean Foreign Minister stated that “the earthquake that struck Chile forced us to clearly see the importance of cooperation between sister countries in overcoming those times when a country’s resources are not enough—hence the significance of the Letter we sign today.”

Through the Department of Sustainable Development of the OAS Executive Secretariat for Integral Development, the Government of Chile will make available to the Technical Secretariat of the INDM a roster of experts on risk management who work in various competent government bodies so they may participate in projects and programs involving the sharing of knowledge and experiences. Furthermore, with the sponsorship and support of the INDM it will promote the organization of conferences, seminars and workshops in Chile, in matters of early alert systems, earthquake prediction centers and building codes and standards.

The INDM is the permanent hemispheric mechanism for strengthening practical collaboration between inter-governmental agencies in the area of disaster reduction, particularly for exchanging technical information and best practices.

Reference: E-091/10