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Press Release


  September 21, 2007

The Organization of American States (OAS) will bring together the heads of key regional institutions on Monday, to study common priorities and strategies aimed at strengthening disaster reduction policies in the hemisphere. OAS Secretary General José Miguel Insulza will open the first meeting of the Inter-American Committee on Natural Disaster Reduction (IACNDR)at the Organization’s headquarters in Washington.

The meeting, stemming from mandates of previous OAS General Assemblies, will provide an opportunity for the representatives of the inter-American institutions to exchange information on their efforts related to natural disasters prevention, response and assistance. It will also explore areas of cooperation within the inter-American system around such themes as climate change adaptation and community resilience.

Members of the Committee will also consider the Inter-American Strategic Plan for Policy on Vulnerability Reduction, Risk Management and Disaster Response (IASP), which establishes a framework of action and defines the priority areas and responsibilities at all levels, from regional organizations to the respective government bodies in each of the Member States.

In addition to the OAS, the Committee is made up of the heads of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO), the Pan-American Development Foundation (PADF), and the Inter-American Defense Board (IADB). The OAS Secretary General can also invite other organizations to participate, including those such as the United Nations and the World Bank.

Secretary General Insulza expressed assurance that the meeting will be highly beneficial to OAS member countries. “I have every confidence that the meeting will build effectively on the long history of collaboration that exists between Committee members in matters related to vulnerability reduction, disaster mitigation, climate change adaptation, and integrated water resources management serves as an example of effective inter-institutional coordination,” he said.

Following the meeting, the members of the Inter-American Committee will offer a press conference.

Reference: E-232/07