Global Emergency Telecommunications Forum Opens in Kuwait City
Tuesday, January 26, 2016 | Comments

The Second Global Forum on Emergency Telecommunications: Saving Lives (GET-2016) opened in Kuwait City, welcoming leaders from government, business, academia, nongovernmental organizations and the United Nations.

The forum provides an opportunity for policymakers and other participants to debate and adopt strategies on how information and communication technologies (ICT) can help implement the Sendai Declaration and Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and mitigate the effects of climate change in line with the Paris Agreement, adopted by the climate change conference in December 2015.

“This forum is all about bringing thought leaders under one roof to find a way of mobilizing new technologies to not only save lives, but improve people’s lives,” said ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao. “ITU’s vision to provide disaster-affected communities, first responders, governments and entities involved in disaster management with appropriate, timely and reliable telecommunications resources will continue to grow.”

Organized by ITU, the U.N. specialized agency for telecommunications and ICTs, the event is hosted by the government of Kuwait and brings together delegates from all over the world.

GET-2016 will feature a wide range of discussions focusing on trends and emerging technological innovations, financing mechanisms, case studies, challenges in deploying telecommunications/ICT for disaster response, climate change issues and the role of the private sector and other nonstate stakeholders.

“This three-day event provides a unique opportunity to explore the role of telecommunications/ICT in mitigating and responding to disasters,” said Brahima Sanou, director of the ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau. “During this forum, we want to launch concrete programs that will change the way telecommunications/ICT resources are deployed and used for disaster management, especially during the response phase.”

The official opening was preceded 25 January by two pre-events focusing on the Tampere Convention and the role of ICTs in disaster risk reduction respectively.

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