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Global Humanitarian Forum Geneva
AGM & Conference, 24-25 June 2008

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Programm 24-25 June Tuesday, 24 June Wednesday, 25 June

- Addressing Today's and Tomorrow’s Humanitarian Challenges

The Forum will address current and future humanitarian challenges. In its initial phase, it will focus on the humanitarian impact of climate change on the poor and most vulnerable.
>details and speakers< (Source:

Some Interview Questions:

Brief, general sustanability questions (ghfg8624.doc)

The Human Face of Climate Change
  • Question for Mr. Kofi Annan:
    Dear Mr Annan.
    In your inaugural address
    for the GHF on 17 Oktober 2007 you said: "We have become highly focused and specialized. As a result we are less accessible to others. So despite being better informed, our knowledge is often restricted in its outreach, and our more rigidly defined sectors limit options for collaboration - whether that ’s between humanitarian and military, development and corporate, or local and international."
    Do you have a strategy which allows for scientific input from environmental scientists who do not belong to the Compact of opinion leaders in Business, Politics and the discipline of Economics - sustainability specialists from Friends of the Earth or the Population Council, for instance?

    Climate Witnesses
  • Question for Mr Martin Davidson, moderator of the panel discussion with "Young people from vulnerable communities in affected regions":
    Dear Mr Davidson.
    England, for example
    , last year suffered from a flooding that almost inundated an electrictiy station that could have ruptured the power supply for a whole region. Iowa in the USA has just seen large areas of cropland destroyed by torrential rains.
    How sure are you that the ongoing melting of alpine glaciers and permaforst, heavy rains and the ensueing landslides and floods will not hit the wealthy north as hard as the poor south? Road and rail connections risk being disrupted and agricultural regions in the low lands flooded at ever higher frequencies.
    Wouldn't the rich try harder to reduce greenhouse gas emissions if they understand that climate change will hit home as well?

    Climate Justice
  • Question for Sir Richard Branson:
    Dear Sir Richard.
    Women in arid and poor countries
    often have to walk many hours daily for water an fire wood.
    The effects of the Kyoto Protocol being highly questionable, wouldn't it be fair to reduce air traffic now, rather than hoping for future technological solutions which may or may not reduce emissions?
  • Question for Mr Yvo de Boer:
    Dear Mr de Boer.
    The Kyoto Protocol's so-called "Clean Development Mechanisms"
    , carbon trading and "Joint Implementation", have not reduced greenhouse gas emissions. Some scientists even claim that these mechanisms actually increase emissions.
    Should a post-Kyoto agreement not comprise measures that are a hundred per cent sure to work, such as a re-localisation of working and living, a general slowing down, and some degree of demechanization of our exuberant lives?
    Would reduced mobility both reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the depletion rates of non-renewables like fossil fuels and water?

    The Climate-Security Nexus: Conflict or Cooperation?
  • Question for Mrs Rita Hauser:
    Dear Mrs Hauser.
    "Resource wars" is the threat you discussed in your workshop.
    If wars are to be avoided by international co-operation, how would the international community do this? Redistribute increasingly scarce food, land and minerals? Accept environmental refugees?
    Should not the process of resource depletion also be slowed down by halting both population growth and further economic expansion? The development of the poorest could be compensated by a wealth contraction of the exuberantly rich, couldn't it?

    5 Key Priorities for Food Security in a Changing Climate
  • Question for Mr Pascal Lamy
    Dear Mr Lamy.
    The workshop intro says that
    "high food prices coupled with continued population expansion are creating new opportunities for farming in poor regions."
    How can the confict between those acclaimed "opportunities" and the additional burdening of the planet by a growing population be resolved?
    Trade can increase wealth. But doesn't this mean that money is increasinly spent on luxury rather than on basic necessities foor poor people?

    Programm 24-25 June Tuesday, 24 June Wednesday, 25 June

    Helmut Lubbers

    Environmental developments:

  • Increasing resource depletion because of continued population growth and economic expansion (GDP growth).
  • The day of "Peak oil", i.e. the highest daily amount of oil extracted, is approaching. It is expected within one to twenty years. Thereafter petroleum will be used for prioritary applications. Industrial and agricultural production, as well as transportation and mobility will decline and thereby reduce greenhouse gas emissions. (compare fossil energy developments)
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    Annual Meeting 2008: The Human Face of Climate Change

    24-25 June 2008 Hotel Intercontinental Geneva 7- 9 Chemin du Petit Saconnex Geneva, Switzerland


    This is the latest programme of the Annual Meeting 2008. Further updates will be accessible through the Forum’s website: A final programme will be sent out shortly prior to the conference.
    Tuesday, 24 June

    Plenary [questions]

    09:15 - 09:30 Welcome - Representative of the Swiss Federal Government
    Laurent Moutinot, President of the State Council, Republic and Canton of Geneva

    09:30 - 09:45 Opening Address: The Human Face of Climate Change
    Kofi A. Annan, President, Global Humanitarian Forum; United Nations Secretary-General (1997-2006)

    09:45 - 10:15 Climate Witnesses: Young people from vulnerable communities in affected regions speak out on how climate change affects their lives - in cooperation with the British Council, including:
    James Bing (Marshall Islands)
    Yunan Jin (China)
    Jesse Mike (Nunavut,Canada)
    Mama N'doda (Togo)
    Guilherme Pastore (Brazil)
    Rishika Das Roy (India)
    Moderated by Martin Davidson, CEO, British Council

    10:15 - 10:45 Break

    10:45 - 12:30 Climate Justice in a Shared Global Ecosphere
    The wealth of the industrialized world is largely based on past and current fossil fuel consumption that is itself the principle cause of global warming. Those who have consumed the least carbon resources, who have contributed the least to climate change, suffer the brunt of its adverse effects. Under a shared ecosphere, and given scarce global resources, historical economic growth has also seriously exacerbated ongoing poverty reduction efforts. But linking these issues together can be grounds for a global solution. Could the architecture of a post-Kyoto agreement be capable of effectively reconciling these injustices? Or is a post- Kyoto framework destined to be an effective tool only for the promotion of emission reductions? Would emission trading on a worldwide but individual, per capita, level provide a better instrument for ensuring global climate justice? Indeed, could personal responsibility for individual carbon emissions provide for a new system of global equity? Do other serious alternatives exist?
    Yvo de Boer, Executive Secretary, UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
    Richard Branson, Chairman, Virgin Group
    Hans Küng, President, Foundation for a Global Ethic
    Ricardo Lagos, Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General on Climate Change; President, Club of Madrid; President of Chile (2001-2006)
    Moderated by Mary Robinson, President, Realizing Rights; UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (1997-2002); President of Ireland (1990-1997)

    12:30 - 14:00 Luncheon

    Parallel Roundtables

    14:00 - 16:00 The Climate-Security Nexus: Conflict or Cooperation?
    Climate change will place vulnerable communities under unbearable stress. Impacts such as more frequent and intense storms and flooding are causing new and more acute humanitarian crises. In some regions, slower-onset disasters, such as climate change driven water stress are exacerbating existing humanitarian situations, and may already be fuelling regional instability in worst affected areas. In the Sahel, we witness tensions among competing nomads, subsistence farmers and other communities, while the retreat of glacial ice in the arctic zone may be cause for confrontation in the scramble for new resources. Can we talk of “resource wars”? What is the extent of the link between climate and security now and tomorrow? Over the coming half-century, could climate change redefine security policy worldwide? How can we encourage better cooperation among peoples and nations to meet these challenges and avoid the great potential for conflict, particularly among competing vulnerable communities?
    Mats Berdal, Professor of Security and Development, Department of War Studies, King’s College, London
    Gareth Evans, President and CEO, International Crisis Group; Foreign Minister, Australia (1988-1996)
    Rita Hauser, President, The Hauser Foundation; Chair, Board of Directors, International Peace Institute
    Jakob Kellenberger, President, International Committee of the Red Cross
    Alois Hirschmugl, Brigadier General, International Operations Command, Austrian Armed Forces
    Javier Solana, High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy, European Union; Secretary-General, Council of the European Union; Secretary-General, Western European Union; Secretary-General, NATO (1995-1999)
    Moderated by Jan Egeland, Director, Norwegian Institute of International Affairs; Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on matters relating to the prevention and resolution of conflict; Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator (2003-2006)

    14:00 - 16:00 5 Key Priorities for Food Security in a Changing Climate
    Drought, changing rainfall patterns, insect infestations and other climate change impacts are dramatically aggravating food scarcity in a number of already vulnerable zones. Meanwhile, demand for bio-fuel materials and unfavourable international trade regimes among other factors are causing food prices to reach historic heights. This development is having serious consequences for a number of vulnerable groups, notably the urban poor. At the same time, however, high food prices coupled with continued population expansion are creating new opportunities for farming in poor regions. What are 5 strategies that could enable farmers to take advantage of these opportunities and strengthen food security in the face of worsening climate risks?
    Jill Lester, President and CEO, The Hunger Project
    John Holmes, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator; Coordinator, UN High Level Task Force on the Global Food Crisis
    Michel Jarraud, Secretary-General, World Meteorological Organization
    Pascal Lamy, Director-General, World Trade Organization (t.b.c.)
    Olivier De Schutter, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food
    Manuel Aranda da Silva, Senior Adviser to the Executive Director, World Food Programme; Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General and Humanitarian Coordinator, UN Mission in Sudan (2004-2007)
    Moderated by Catherine Bertini, Professor of Public Administration, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University; Executive Director, World Food Program (1992-2002)

    14:00 - 16:00 Are the Right Risks Insured?
    Given the scale and breadth of the climate threat, do current patterns of insurance accurately reflect exposure to this new risk on global and regional levels? To what extent are climate-related risks themselves “insurable”? Many developing countries lack any insurance coverage for climate risks whatsoever, even in worst affected regions. As climate change impacts intensify, this insurance deficit will not only impede recovery from large-scale disasters, but also further deter investment where often unfavourable business conditions already prevail. What policies are needed to overturn the climate-insurance deficit for worst affected and most vulnerable regions? Would the appointment of chief risk officers close to political decision-makers be a positive first step?
    Jacques Aigrain, CEO, Swiss Re
    Gunilla Carlsson, Minister for International Development Cooperation, Sweden; Chairperson, Commission on Climate Change and Development
    Mary Chinery-Hesse, Chief Advisor to the President of Ghana
    Kemal Dervi?, Administrator, UN Development Programme (UNDP)
    Jay Ralph, CEO, Allianz Reinsurance
    Simon Upton, Chair, OECD Round Table on Sustainable Development
    Moderated by Donald Johnston, Chairman, International Risk Governance Council; Secretary-General, OECD (1996-2006)

    14:00 - 16:00 Design and Urban Planning: New Forms of Urban Life - New Forms of Development?
    For most of human history, design followed the respective availability of natural raw materials. With industrialization and globalization, human activity and settlements have become unsustainable, and increasingly so. Our planet cannot bear further greenhouse gas intensive economic growth. If all developing countries are to achieve a high standard of living, the traditional carbon-reliant model cannot be followed. There is a need for new, substantially greener practices. What contribution can smart design and urban planning make towards sustainable development and adaptation for most vulnerable communities? Could good design also help to better harness the resources and traditional knowledge available to developing countries? What could local design and urban planning look like in the twenty-first century? What type of lifestyles and infrastructure are most desirable? Do we need new models of development?
    Michelle Colley, Risk Manager, Acclimatise
    John Raftery, Dean, School of the Built Environment, Oxford Brookes University
    Darren Robinson, Group Leader, Sustainable Urban Development, Ecole Polytechnique F´dérale de Lausanne
    Malcolm Smith, Director, Integrated Urbanism, Arup Consulting
    Amy Smith, Senior Lecturer, Departement of Mechanical Engineering, co-founder, International Development Initiative, and founder, Designs for Developing Countries Project, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
    Anna Tibaijuka, Executive Director, United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT)
    Moderated by George Scharffenberger, Executive Director, Richard C. Blum Centre for Developing Economies, University of California, Berkeley

    14:00 - 16:00 What are Business Opportunities for Adaptation?
    Adaptation to climate change for most vulnerable communities is estimated to cost in the realm of US$50 billion per year. How much of this figure represents business opportunities? What are the main business opportunities for adaptation? At the same time, adaptation is such a large-scale endeavor that it must be driven by a range of stakeholders, including governments, the private sector, civil society and other partners. However, the private sector continues to be under-engaged compared to other sectors, particularly with respect to most vulnerable groups. What scope is there for triggering more private sector involvement through government incentives? And what would be the appropriate incentives and/or regulatory frameworks?
    Ela Bhatt, founder, India's Self-Employed Women's Association
    Frits van Dijk, Executive Vice President and Zone Director for Asia, Oceania, Africa and Middle East, Nestl´
    Bert Koenders, Minister for Development Cooperation, Netherlands
    Iqbal Quadir, Executive Director, Legatum Centre for Development and Entrepreneurship, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
    Eric Rey, President and CEO, Arcadia Biosciences
    Roland Stulz, Executive Director, Novatlantis, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Domain
    Moderated by Michel Camdessus, Member, Commission for Africa; Managing Director, International Monetary Fund (1987-2000); Governor, Bank of France (1984-1987)

    14:00 - 16:00 Innovative Financing for Adaptation: What New Ideas?
    Climate change impacts may derail attainment of the Millennium Development Goals by 2015, and in some cases, may even undo existing development investments. Adaptation is the safeguard to this, but will require substantial additional finance above current levels of Official Development Assistance (ODA), which itself continues to fall short of the 0.7% target. In addition, given that climate change is impacting on people and communities now, adaptation is an urgent need. How can funds be more rapidly mobilized? Should adaptation spending be made eligible for ODA labelling for the immediate future? Is another alternative the launch of a new “global fund” to gather and coordinate financing on adaptation for those worst affected? Or will we have to wait for a global post-Kyoto agreement in order to effectively finance such needs? Rajat Gupta, Chair of the Board, the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; Senior Partner Worldwide Emeritus, McKinsey&Company Caio Koch-Weser, Vice-Chairman, Deutsche Bank
    Ivan Pictet, Vice-President, Global Humanitarian Forum; Senior Managing Partner, Pictet & Cie
    Jean-Louis Schiltz, Minister of Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs, Communications and Defence, Luxembourg
    Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul, Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany
    Moderated by James Wolfensohn, founder, the Wolfensohn Centre at the Brookings Institute, Washington DC; President of the World Bank Group (1995-2005)


    16:30 - 18:00 Open Debate on the Conclusions of the Roundtables

    19:30 - 21:30 Boat Cruise/Dinner Dinner boat cruise on Lake Leman

    Wednesday, 25 June
    Parallel Roundtables

    08:30 - 10:15 Energy for the Poor: Energizing the MDGs
    Often referred to as “the missing MDG”, energy is pivotal to achieving all of the Millennium Development Goals. Its production and consumption are also a key factor in protecting against the adverse impacts of climate change. At the same time, improving the standard of living of the world’s poor must be grounded in sustainable development; it must favour latest clean technologies over the fossil fuel-based sources privileged by the majority of the world’s modern economies. What incentives are needed to substantially boost investment in energy services for the poor? What feasible opportunities exist for decentralized, “leapfrog”, resilient and renewable energy technologies?
    John Drexhage, Director of Climate Change and Energy, the International Institute for Sustainable Development
    Jan van der Eijk, Group Chief Technology Officer, Royal Dutch Shell
    Donald Kaberuka, President, African Development Bank
    Susan McDade, UNDP Resident Representative, Cuba
    Moderated by Rajendra Pachauri, Chairman, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC); Chairman, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI)

    08:30 - 10:15 Climate Responsibility and Global Media
    As the outreach and influence of global media continues to expand, what role can be played in building global climate responsibility? What can the information media industry do to illustrate the magnitude of the climate problem? How can climate justice be communicated by the media? And how can latest technologies be used to bridge the communication gap that separates rich from poor?
    Mo Ibrahim, founder, Celtel International; founder, the Mo Ibrahim Foundation
    Ahmed Sheikh, Head of News, Al Jazeera Arabic
    David Shukman, Environment and Science correspondent, BBC News
    Carl-Henric Svanberg, Chairman of the Board, Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications; President and CEO, Ericsson
    Moderated by Barbara Stocking, Director, Oxfam GB

    08:30 - 10:15 Climate Change and Health: What Partnerships?
    The enormous impact climate change is having and will have on public health is only beginning to be seen as cause for serious concern. Heat, malnutrition and hunger facilitate the spread of vector borne diseases like malaria, schistosomiasis and dengue fever. Flooding can dramatically increase the likelihood of contracting water borne diseases, such as cryptosporidiosis, amoebiasis or typhoid, as clean water is often unobtainable or becomes contaminated. While little or no access to medical services and medication mean diseases go untreated and epidemics unrestrained. Drugs, the Internet, and other latest technologies are needed to combat these growing health concerns, but are rarely at the disposal of those most in need. What partnerships can change that?
    Bernard Kouchner, Foreign Minister, France; founder, Médecins sans Frontières (t.b.c.)
    Klaus Leisinger, President and CEO, Novartis Foundation for Sustainable Development; Special Advisor of the UN Secretary-General on the Global Compact
    Eric Rasmussen, CEO, InSTEDD (t.b.c.)
    Moderated by David Nabarro, UN System Senior Coordinator for Avian and Human Influenza

    08:30 - 10:15 Dealing with Regional Water Stress
    In the past, availability of water resources have dictated human settlement. Climate change is shifting the availability of water worldwide, with pressurizing consequences on communities in a number of regions. Water stress in the form of severe drought, dwindling groundwater sources and changing rain patterns is rendering land uninhabitable in worst affected areas. Is mass migration the only sensible long-term solution for such situations? In more marginal contexts, can traditional settlements be safeguarded by more effective resource management practices, such as crop substitution or advanced irrigation? Could net import of water-intensive goods be another promising strategy?
    Louise Arbour, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
    E. Neville Isdell, Chairman, The Coca Cola Company
    Brunson McKinley, Director General, International Organization for Migration
    Youba Sokona, Executive Secretary, Sahara and Sahel Observatory
    Moderated by Jeffrey Sachs, Director, The Earth Institute at Columbia University; Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General on the Millennium Development Goals

    08:30 - 10:15 Practical Solutions to Empower Vulnerable People and Communities
    Basic solutions, such as drip irrigation and roof-water harvesting, can significantly boost the resilience of communities against climate threats. Information and communication technologies can empower vulnerable communities by increasing access to crucial knowledge. They can also help create a sense of global responsibility and citizenship by connecting people from any region of the world. What are the most promising solutions? How can their implementation be accelerated? And at the local level, what means do communities have to manage their adaptation needs?
    Madeleen Helmer, Head, Red Cross/Red Crescent Climate Centre
    Dean Hirsch, President and CEO, World Vision International
    Samuel Kobia, General Secretary, World Council of Churches
    Julia Marton-Lefevre, Director General, World Conservation Union (IUCN)
    Judith Rodin, President, Rockefeller Foundation
    Moderated by Rinalia Abdul Rahim, Executive Director, Global Knowledge Partnership

    08:30 - 10:15 Coastal Cities in the Global South: Waiting for the Next Mega-Disaster?
    Coastal cities constitute the backbone of international trade and the world economy. Assets of these cities that are exposed to climate risks are estimated to reach 9% of global GDP by 2070. Expensive measures in urban administration, planning and civil defence will help some cities to manage these risks. For many developing country cities, however, adaptation is often a politically unjustifiable luxury. Yet a Cyclone Nargis could be repeated in any number of least developed zones. Are we simply waiting for the next mega-disaster? Or can we ensure climate-proofing for even the poorest of the world’s vulnerable coastal cities?
    Celine Herweijer, Principal Scientist of Future Climate, Risk Management Solutions
    Adam Kimbisa, Mayor, Dar es Salaam
    Markku Niskala, Secretary-General, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
    Moderated by Goh Kee Nguan, Brigadier General, Singapore Armed Forces

    10:15 - 10:30 Break


    10:30 - 12:00 Open Debate on the Conclusions of the Roundtables

    12:00 - 12:45 Keynote/Debate

    12:45 - 13:00 Closing Remarks Kofi A. Annan, President, Global Humanitarian Forum; UN Secretary-General (1997-2006)

    13:00 - 14:00 Luncheon

    14:00 - 15:00 A Road Map for New Ideas on Adaptation to Climate Change: the BrainStore Approach
    Markus Mettler, Chairman, co-founder & IdeaDirector, BrainStore

    16:00 - 16:30 Press Conference

    Source: (18 June 2008).