Session of the Intergovernmental Board on Climate Services

Publié: 6 janvier 2015

Session of the Intergovernmental Board on Climate Services
Video address by Secretary General Elhadj As Sy

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

I regret that I am not able to join you in person due to previous commitments, but I appreciate the opportunity to take part through this video message.

 The IFRC started its journey with WMO more than a decade ago, and we signed a Memorandum of Understanding in July last year.  Our collaboration leading up to the 3rd World Climate Conference and the Global Framework for Climate Services has been  a catalyst, helping to bring a wider range of partners on board to address the consequences of climate variability, including climate change. 

This session of the Global Framework board discussions is very timely. Just a few days ago, the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change released in Copenhagen its 5th assessment report, with its most dire warnings to date, including the “increasing … likelihood of severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts for people” and societies. 

More than 75 per cent of disasters worldwide are caused by hazards related to weather, climate or water. During the past eight years, National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies around the world have responded to nearly two thousand hydro-meteorological and climatological disasters – more than half (55 per cent) of all Red Cross and Red Crescent disaster operations. Many of these crises do not attract regional or international attention, but are devastating to the people affected by them.

This is why, at the UN Climate Summit in September 2014, I pledged that by the end of 2015 the IFRC would support communities in at least 40 high-risk countries in using climate information in community-based disaster preparedness, response and risk reduction programming. I also committed to making a difference, beginning with my own organization, by promoting a culture of preparedness and raising public awareness through our 17 million community-based Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers.

We value greatly our involvement in the Global Framework for Climate Services and are committed to bringing our experience to bear on the four areas identified as urgent priorities: 

  • agriculture and food security; 
  • disaster risk reduction; 
  • health, and 
  • water.

The participation of our National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in countries and communities will help to develop and deliver climate information that is user-friendly, relevant, and tailored to local needs. 

We know that the challenges remain daunting. But we are encouraged by the important value of the Global Framework in the effective delivery of a multitude of climate services at national and local levels.  By assembling expert climate scientists, policy-makers, UN agencies, the Red Cross and Red Crescent, and civil society organizations within the Global Framework, we increase the chances that evidence-based climate information will resonate more loudly and stimulate wider action at local, national, regional and global levels.

The IFRC, and its 189 member National Societies, are proud to work within the Global Framework for Climate Services, with WMO and other partners to achieve our common goals. 

We look forward to our continued collaboration.

Thank you.


La Fédération internationale des Sociétés de la Croix-Rouge et du Croissant-Rouge constitue, avec ses 190 Sociétés nationales membres, le plus vaste réseau humanitaire du monde. En tant que membres du Mouvement international de la Croix-Rouge et du Croissant-Rouge, nous sommes guidés dans notre travail par sept Principes fondamentaux: humanité, impartialité, neutralité, indépendance, volontariat, unité et universalité.