KANSAI Close-up

UN disaster reduction conference in Kobe Jan. '05

The second United Nations World Conference on Disaster Reduction will be held in Kobe January 18-22, 2005. The Japanese central government at a Cabinet session in July endorsed the Hyogo Prefectural Government's plan to host the conference in January 2005 that marks the 10th anniversary of the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake and asked the United Nations to approve the plan. The UN General Assembly recently unanimously voted for a resolution, cosponsored by some 140 countries, including the United States, Switzerland and Australia, calling for the holding of the conference in Kobe.
UN member countries, UN agencies, non-government organizations of the world and others are expected to participate in the conference, the main theme of which is the formulation of a new disaster reduction guideline for the 21st century based on a review of the Yokohama Strategy and the action plan adopted at the first World Conference on Disaster Reduction held in Yokohama in 1994. The conference will also study a specific action program for reducing disasters.
Hyogo Governor Toshizo Ido said, 'The holding of the UN conference in disaster-stricken Hyogo Prefecture 10 years after the great earthquake will serve as a new starting point for our creative restoration work, because the 10th anniversary is a time for us to look back on what we have done so far in restoring our prefecture.'