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Message from ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun Touré
on the occasion of the International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction
10 October 2007


Photo of Dr Hamadoun I. Touré, ITU Secretary-GeneralThis 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
Secretary General
International Telecommunication Union

 

 

 

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