This year we mark the United Nations designated International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction as 'a global
culture of natural disaster reduction, including disaster prevention, mitigation
and preparedness' with a sense of achievement. Although over the past five years,
natural disasters have been on the increase and, in one way or another, have affected
hundreds of millions of people worldwide, the international community has shown
unprecedented determination in mitigating the impact of these disasters. In order
to contribute to this effort, ITU has prioritized emergency telecommunications in
all its work with the realization that timely dissemination of authoritative information
before, during, and after disasters is critical for effective disaster management.
ITU's work in telecommunications/ICT infrastructure development, coordinating
the effective use of the radio-frequency spectrum, establishing radio standards
and guidelines concerning the use of radiocommunication systems, has increasingly focused on natural disaster reduction by facilitating prediction, detection, monitoring, and
alerting. ITU is developing new technical standards for telecommunications
that play a strategic role in ensuring global interconnection and interoperability
for monitoring and management at the onset of emergency situations and during disasters.
As we mark this international day, I re-affirm ITU's unwavering commitment to help reduce natural
disasters by harnessing
the potential of technology. While we cannot prevent natural disasters, we can certainly reduce their impact by being better prepared.
Dr Hamadoun I. Touré
International Telecommunication Union