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Press Release


  June 12, 2009

The OAS Assistant Secretary General, Ambassador Albert Ramdin, will showcase the regional perspective of the Americas on disaster reduction in a meeting to be held in Geneva, June 15 - 19, 2009. At the meeting, high-level government authorities, international experts and officials from UN System specialized agencies, international cooperation agencies, bilateral and multilateral donors, along with inter-governmental organizations from the Inter-American System will discuss ways to further advance the agenda of Disaster Risk Reduction and Development. This 2nd Session of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction is being organized by the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR).

The OAS has been at the vanguard of disaster risk reduction for two decades. Ambassador Ramdin will address progress towards addressing the underlying causes of natural disasters, so as to reduce disaster losses and their impact on regional and national economies and development processes. The Assistant Secretary General also will promote advancing disaster risk reduction as an integral component of development policy and planning.

As a sign of his commitment to the issue of natural disaster reduction, on February 10th, 2009, Ambassador Ramdin convened a workshop at the OAS headquarters in Washington, DC. On that occasion, he highlighted the OAS leading role, by explaining that “the Inter-American Strategic Plan for Policy on Vulnerability Reduction, Risk Management and Disaster Response (IASP), adopted in 2003, epitomizes the political will to prevent, and mitigate the consequences and implications of natural phenomena.”

OAS expert, Mr. Pablo Gonzalez, Chief of the Risk Management and Adaptation to Climate Change (RISK-MACC) Program of the Department of Sustainable Development, will present, on behalf of the General Secretariat of the Organization of American States (GS/OAS) and UNISDR Americas, the results of the First Session of the Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction held in March, 2009, in Panama City. The Regional Platform of the Americas is expected to become the main regional forum for all parties involved in disaster risk reduction, including regional inter-governmental bodies, civil society, United Nations specialized agencies, international financial institutions, the private sector, and the scientific and academic communities.

More than 1200 delegates representing over 150 countries and 120 organizations working in disaster risk reduction in the world, including government officials, scientists, academics, representatives of multilateral organizations, and members of civil society organized groups are expected to attend this second Session.

Reference: E-192/09