Media advisory – World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction

Publié: 12 mars 2015

From 15-18 March 2015, the World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (WCDRR) takes place in Sendai, Japan.


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The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) will be actively participating in the conference with a delegation led by IFRC President – Tadateru Konoé. The delegation will include IFRC Secretary General, Elhadj As Sy and 120 senior representatives from 42 National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies together with technical experts from 3 Red Cross Red Crescent reference centres – The Climate Centre, Global Disaster Preparedness Centre and Livelihoods Resource Centre.


IFRC delegates will be engaged in Ministerial Roundtables, High-level Partnership Dialogues and Working Sessions. IFRC will provide panellists to 6 working sessions, and will organize and participate in a number of side events including :


  • Technological Hazards: From Risk Reduction to Recovery

Saturday 14 March, 13:00-14:30, Sendai International Centre, Main Hall

This session will look at the experiences and commitments of countries, cities and private sector partners who are pioneering holistic approaches to address the technological risks associated with disaster. The session will build on lessons learned from Fukushima, particularly on the recovery and rehabilitation work.


Speakers include: Elhadj As Sy – Secretary General, IFRC


  • IFRC Press Conference to announce the ‘One Billion Coalition for Resilience’

Sunday 15 March, 2015, 9.45 -10:30 Sakura Room, 2nd Floor, Sendai International Centre

Resilient communities are the foundation of resilient nations and the IFRC’s main Voluntary Commitment at WCDRR will be the announcement of the ‘One Billion Coalition for Resilience’ - a multi-stakeholder global initiative that brings together a wide range of like-minded actors in new partnerships with the aim of getting one billion people to take active steps towards enhancing community resilience by 2025.


Speakers include: Tadateru Konoé – President, IFRC and Japanese Red Cross Society; Elhadj As Sy – Secretary General, IFRC.


  • Residents Symposium to consider Fukushima reconstruction 2015
  • Sunday 15 March 2015, 12:40 – 16:30, Hotel Tatsumiya, 5–1 Sakae-cho, Fukushima city

Co-organized by the Japanese Red Cross, this symposium aims to address opportunities and challenges related to the recovery process following the 2011 triple disaster in Fukushima prefecture. Speakers from IFRC, Fukushima authorities and affected communities will provide first-hand information from the current situation and implementation plans for the future revitalisation of communities affected by the nuclear disaster.


  • Disaster Risk Management for healthy societies

Sunday 15 March, 14:00-15:30, Sendai International Centre, Hagi Hall

Action is required to strengthen people’s health status, health-related systems and services to reduce risk and build community resilience. Case studies and progress reports as well as commitments towards the implementation of the Safe Hospitals Initiative will be presented.


Speakers include: Elhadj As Sy – Secretary General, IFRC


  • Children and Youth Forum: Volunteers in building back better

Monday 16 March, 18:00-19:00, Tohoku University, Katahira Campus

The Children and Youth Forum will be a led by children and youth, showcasing their strengths, skills, and abilities to lead change in reducing risk and building resilience to disasters. The forum will provide space for children and youth to share views, ideas and experiences in reducing disaster risk and in building community resilience; discuss their aspirations, expectations as well as the contribution and added value they bring to disaster risk reduction decision-making; co-design innovative ideas for disaster resilience and opportunities to pitch their innovations and recommendations to the leaders of today; formulate commitments to a post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction to be presented at the WCDRR.


  • Enhancing community resilience and safety through integrated disaster preparedness and risk reduction

Tuesday 17 March 2015, 09:00 – 12:00, Tokyo Electron Hall Miyagi 601, Large Meeting Room

This event invites participants to share their experience, knowledge and ideas that contribute towards building effective partnerships that enhance and strengthen community resilience through the IFRC’s collaborative initiative, the ‘One Billion Coalition for Resilience’.


  • Side event: Road to Sendai

Tuesday 17 March, 09:00 – 13:00, Tohoku University Kawauchi-kita Campus A106

The IFRC along with the Asian Disaster Reduction and Response Network and other partners will present the testimonials and voices gathered through the Road to Sendai campaign, with the aim of ensuring that the voices of communities are heard by world leaders at the conference in shaping the post-2015 framework for DRR.


Speakers include: Jagan Chapagain – Director, IFRC Asia Pacific zone


  • From crisis response to building resilience

Tuesday 17 March, 16:00-17:30, Sendai International Centre, Hagi Hall

The session will highlight innovative practices in preparedness that have emerged from country experiences over the past decade and will demonstrate how whole of society preparedness measures can help reduce mortality during emergency crises in support of the implementation of a post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction.


Speakers include: Jagan Chapagain – Director, IFRC Asia Pacific zone


IFRC Experts available for Interview

Tadateru Konoé, President, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Languages: Japanese, English, Areas of Expertise: disaster risk reduction, resilience, integrated community development, nuclear preparedness


Elhadj As Sy, Secretary General, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Languages: English, French, German, Areas of Expertise: integrated community development, community based health and disaster risk reduction, resilience, climate change adaptation and mitigation


Gwendolyn Pang, Secretary General, Philippine Red Cross, Languages: English, Areas of Expertise: disaster preparedness and risk reduction, urban risk, climate change adaptation, early warning systems and early action, international disaster response law guidelines  


Dorkas Kapembe-Haiduwa, Secretary General, Namibia Red Cross Society, Languages: English, Areas of Expertise: community based first aid and health care, hygiene awareness and promotion, community risk reduction,  international disaster response law guidelines  


Elizabeth McNaughton, Special advisor of the Secretary General, New Zealand Red Cross, Languages: English. Areas of expertise: Economic aspects of Disaster risk reduction


Georges Kettaneh, Secretary General, Lebanese Red Cross, Languages: English and Arabic. Areas of expertise: CBHFA, Ambulance services, Conflict preparedness


Dr Younis Al-Khatib, Secretary General, Palestine Red Crescent Society, Languages: Arabic and English. Areas of expertise: DRR in conflict, Disasters preparedness with children.


Prof. Tha Hla Shwe, president, Myanmar Red Cross, languages English. Areas of expertise: Health and DRR


Jose Juan Castro, President Honduras Red Cross. Languages: Spanish. Areas of expertise: Urban DRR


Natia Loladze, President Georgia Red Cross, Languages: English, Russian. Areas of expertise: Conflict induced disasters, migration.


Maarten Van Aalst, Director, Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre, Languages: English, Dutch, Areas of expertise: climate risk management, climate science and policy, disaster risk management and development planning


Further experts representing different geographical regions and various languages are also available.



IFRC WCDRR Media Focal Points in Sendai: 


For further information on the IFRC’s participation in WCDRR or to arrange interviews please contact;


Tel: +81 804 200 9732 / +60 12 230 8451


Tel: +81 804 182 9792 / + 41 79 226 48 32


In Geneva:


  • Benoit Carpentier, IFRC Team Leader for Public Communications

Tel: +41 79 213 24 13, E-mail


  • Reeni Amin Chua, IFRC Communications Officer, Geneva

Tel: + +41 79 708 6273, E-mail: