|IDNDR - Informs - Number 04, January - March, 1994 (IDNDR)|
For the past year, the main activity of the IDNDR Secretariat in Geneva has been the organization of the World Conference for Natural Disaster Reduction, which will take place May 23-27 in Yokohama, Japan.
Summaries of National Reports were requested from all U.N. member countries before the end of February this year. They will be compared, translated and published in a Global Volume for the conference. Unfortunately, many Caribbean and Latin American countries didn't send in their summaries in time to be included in the Volume. Those countries that didn't make it are encouraged to complete their National Reports, translate them into English if necessary, and bring copies that the countries' participants can distribute personally during the Conference.
The General Assembly of the United Nations, through Resolution 48/188, implemented in December 1993, decided to assume responsibility for the World Conference. This implies that established protocol for a conference of such magnitude must be followed, and that all communication and national representation must be made through each country's Diplomatic Mission. For this reason, it is of utmost importance that the National IDNDR Committees (or similar organizations) establish close ties with their Ministries of Foreign Affairs. This will guarantee representation in the official delegation sent to Yokohama.
It is also recommended that national delegations be as high-ranking as possible, so that upon their return home, they can have a strong and positive influence in decision-making about disaster reduction policies.
As the topic gains legitimacy, the World Conference offers a chance for "disasterologists" to push for changes in disaster mitigation policies.
In this issue of IDNDR Informs, we continue with our presentation of positive examples of some IDNDR Partners in Latin American and the Caribbean. Particular attention is given, in our feature interview, to the Coordination Center for Natural Disaster Prevention in Central America (CEPREDENAC). The new profile of this regional organization could represent a novel form of cooperation, valid for other parts of the Region.