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image: squares decoration HIGH LEVEL DEBATE

High Level Debate No 4

ICTs for disaster management

Wednesday 12 May 2010, 09:00-11:00
Room H

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Disasters disrupt national economies, severely weaken the poor and vulnerable and are recognized as major impediments to sustainable development and reduction of poverty especially in least developed countries and small island developing states. When disasters strike they leave a legacy of lost or broken lives and economic damage. The impact is even worse for those living in remote and isolated areas with no access to basic information and communication facilities.

ICTs play a critical role in disaster predication, monitoring, and detection. ICT can save human lives through the timely dissemination of early warning alerts. In the immediate aftermath of disasters, ICT plays an important role to coordinate search and rescue operations, the supply of food, medicine and other essential services, and in providing critical information to the victims of disasters. Emergency Telecommunications play a critical role in the immediate aftermath of disasters by ensuring timely flow of vital information which is much needed by government agencies, and other humanitarian actors that are involved in rescue operations and providing medical assistance to the injured.

One of the biggest challenges of our time is the recent upsurge and increase in the frequency and devastation of disasters as evidenced by the Cyclone Nargis that hit Myanmar, the Sichuan earthquake that affected China, the 12 January 2010 Haiti earthquake, and the 27th February 2010 Chile earthquake. In March 2010, a series of disasters were also experienced to include floods in Uganda, Zambia, and Mozambique to the Turkey earthquake, the earthquakes in China and Sumatra, and Cyclones in Fiji.

Moderator: Dr Cosmas Zavazava, Emergency Telecommunications- Telecommunication Development Bureau, International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Geneva

Opening Remarks: Mr Sami Al Basheer Al Morshid, Director of Telecommunication Development Bureau, International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Geneva


  • H.E. Mr Sardar Muhammad Latif Khan Khosa, Ministry of Information Technology, Pakistan

  • Mr Sony Esteus, Director, Société d’Animation et de Communication Sociale (SAKS), Haiti

  • Mr Steve Buckley, President of the World Association of Community Radio AMARC, Quebec

  • Dr Daniel Stauffacher, Chairman, ICT4Peace Foundation, Geneva

  • Mr Thomas Wasilewski, Senior Director for Government Affairs, QUALCOMM

  • Mr Mark Moore, President, Collabria LLC

  • Mr Emanuele Gennai, Global Affairs Account Executive, EMEA, ESRI Europe, Nyon, Switzerland

  • Dr Seppo Sisatto, Chairman, Organizing Committee GAREC, Finland

  • Ms. Kelly O'Keefe, Rapporteur, Q.22/2, ITU-D Study Groups Access Partnerships

*English & French interpretation will be made available.

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