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Press Releases, 2/4/2014

The United Nations getting prepared for disasters − Special Representative's visit to Finland will highlight the issue 

Press release 30/2014
4 February 2014

Margareta Wahlström, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction, will visit Finland on 5 February. Wahlström will meet Minister for International Development Pekka Haavisto. In addition, she will have meetings at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of the Interior, and the Finnish Red Cross.

The theme of Wahlström’s visit is the Hyogo Framework for Action, which is a strategy for natural disaster prevention and risk reduction managed by the United Nations. 

“Natural disaster prevention helps save human lives and reduces significantly the national economic impacts of disasters. Enhancing the emergency preparedness within a country is also important. For example, in the Philippines, rescue work could be launched rapidly, because the country had good plans for disaster situations,” says Minister Haavisto.

The intention is to reform the Hyogo Framework for Action in the third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction to be held in Sendai, Japan, in March 2015. The United Nations Secretariat for the International Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), chaired by Special Representative Wahlström, coordinates the preparations for the Sendai World Conference.

In the Government’s Development Policy Programme, Finland has pledged to enhance preparedness for natural disasters as part of development cooperation. Finland has a national action plan in accordance with the Hyogo strategy, and a national cooperation network led by the Ministry of the Interior. Ambassador Päivi Kairamo has been selected among the presiding officers of the preparatory committee for the Sendai World Conference as the second representative of the Western Group.

Margareta Wahlström has more than 30 years of work experience in the disaster and conflict areas of the world. She has been acting as Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General since 2008.

Additional information: Anna Gebremedhin, Head of Unit for Humanitarian Assistance, tel. +358 40 583 0149
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Updated 2/4/2014

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