U.S. Participation in the World Conference on Disaster Reduction

Richard Boucher, Spokesman
Washington, D.C.
January 14, 2005

The United States will participate in the World Conference on Disaster Reduction in Kobe, Japan, January 18-22, 2005. U.S. Ambassador to Japan Howard H. Baker, Jr., will head the delegation. Other U.S. delegates include Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of International Organization Affairs Mark P. Lagon, Deputy Assistant Administrator Len Rogers of the United States Agency for International Development, National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration Deputy Assistant Secretary William J. Brennan, and Dr. Gene Whitney of the President's Office of Science and Technology Policy.

At the World Conference on Disaster Reduction, the U.S. will discuss with international partners the development of a global warning system to provide alerts on multiple hazards, including tsunamis. The U.S. also will discuss mitigating disaster risks due to climate variability, reducing earthquake risk, and strengthening the role of the international community in preparing for drought, fire, and disease. The United States will stress good governance, the role of democracy, and the free flow of information in risk reduction.

As a leader in the domain of disaster reduction, the United States proposed the International Decade on Natural Disaster Reduction, and has fostered the International Strategy on Disaster Reduction. The United States helps fund many related programs, such as the Global Disaster Information Network, which focuses on moving critical information into remote locations.