Annan to launch forum to tackle climate change, natural disasters 2007-09-18 06:45:52   Print

    GENEVA, Sept. 17 (Xinhua) -- Former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan said on Monday that he would officially launch a new forum on Oct. 17 aimed to tackle climate change and natural disasters.

    One major task of the Global Humanitarian Forum will be to lookat ways of helping the communities around the world that are most vulnerable to the effects of climate change, Annan, who himself will be the president of the Geneva-based organization, told reporters in Geneva.

    "Environmental change and natural disasters already displace more people than armed conflict," said the former UN secretary-general, who stepped down at the end of last year.

    "We need to do more to address the needs of the most vulnerable people and communities," he added.

    Annan explained that his forum, which is based on an initiative put forward by the Swiss foreign ministry, would have a different philosophy from other similar organizations.

    The Global Humanitarian Forum aims to boost dialog between all parties involved in humanitarian aid, acting as a catalyst, and build bridges between areas that otherwise had little contact.

    "We want to bring together people from the civil society, governments, the academic world and military authorities," Annan said.

    He believed humanitarian aid was often too segmented, and one of the forum's goals would be to help improve the system.

    "We are currently too strongly focused on reaction (to catastrophes) - we need a change in mentality."

Editor: Mu Xuequan
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