Kirsi MADI – World Conference – French Red Cross
My name is Kirsi Madi, I am the Director of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction.
This global conference organized by the French Red Cross to celebrate and mark the centenary of the creation of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies is a unique moment. This event really shows us that the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement is never complacent and that it wants to highlight the issues that matter, look at the challenges of today’s world and see how the Movement, its members and volunteers can be agents of change.
For me, the important thing is to focus our action on those who are most exposed to risks, the most vulnerable. If we start to focus on the people most affected, then we can reach the whole of society. We cannot achieve sustainable development unless we address and reduce the risks of climate disasters. We must act quickly.
I think the most important action for the international community would be to understand that we need to work together in a coherent way. What does that mean? We have different policy frameworks that we have agreed on at an international level, but we need to ensure that we implement them and work on them at all levels – international, regional, national, local – in a coherent way. We all have a responsibility and it is when we work coherently that we can really make a difference.
So what action could each citizen take? Once again, it is a matter of not being complacent, of understanding what the risks we face today are. And to take action at a personal, family, community and national level, but also to empower decision-makers and countries.
So my message for future generations is that the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction hears you. We understand you, we agree with you and will do everything we can to get your message across and make it happen.