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New Delhi, Nov 5: Countries grappling with disasters and struggling to cope with their aftermath will assemble at a brainstorming 'International Conference on Disaster Reduction (ICDR)' in Mumbai on November 9-10, sponsored and supported by several global organizations, including IBM.

The conference has a mandate to chalk out new and bold approaches in terms of disaster preparedness and connectivity among communities, corporates and governments.

'ICDR 2006' is a follow-up event of the UN World Conference on Disaster Reduction held in Kobe, Japan in January last year and the World Conference on Disaster Reduction (WCDR) organised in Mumbai nine months later.

This year's ICDR's theme - 'Mumbai Declaration and Beyond: Public-Private Partnership' - aims to build further upon the huge success of the event that put India's commercial capital among the global centres that dealt with disaster mitigation and management measures.

The two-day event, an initiative of the Global Forum for Disaster Reduction (GFDR) in association with New Media Communication, is co-organised by Kyoto University and Asian Disaster Reduction Centre in Japan.

The Conference, for which Israel is a country partner, is expected to attract more than 200 delegates from a dozen countries across five continents.

''ICDR 2006 seeks to explore Public Private Partnership and draw up a road map to facilitate and institutionalise it in order to follow up its outcome with governments, private sector and the organisations that participated in the previous Mumbai conference,'' said Satya Swaroop, Project Director, ICDR.

He said the world was passing through rough times with countries grappling with disasters and struggling to cope with their aftermath as had been seen in the recent past in the case of the tsunami, Maharashtra floods and Mumbai blasts, to name a few.

''The Conference will make efforts to promote a 'Platform for Public Private Partnership (P4PPP) and bring out a Corporate Community Interface (CCI) handbook in order to raise awareness of the issues involved within the business community,'' Mr Swaroop said.

The previous conference in Mumbai drew all stakeholders from across governments, UN agencies, corporate sector, academic institutions and the community at large.

It advanced the objectives of the Hyogo Framework of Action 2005-2015 drawn up in Kobe, with particular reference to the corporate sector and its social responsibility as a major stakeholder.

Several leading international agencies, including UN/ISDR, the World Bank, International Telecommunication Union, Red Cross, Asian Disaster Reduction Centre (ADRC) and Kyoto University participated in the Conference.

''As there will be no end to calamities, we hope ICDR 2006 will lay down new and bold approaches in terms of preparedness, connectivity among communities, corporates and governments with the concept of P4PPP as the guiding spirit, which is the most pressing need of the hour", he added.

The keynote speakers at the Conference include Ian Davis, Visiting Professor, Cranfield University, UK (the first British national to receive the prestigious UN Sasakawa Award), who is also Chairman of the ICDR 2006; Koji Suzuki, Executive Director, ADRC, Japan; Prof. Gokhan Bayakal, Department of Civil Engineering, Bogazici University, Istanbul, Turkey; Anil Sinha, Programme Advisor, UNDP; and Prof. Ravi Sinha, IIT, Mumbai.


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