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UPDATES ON GDIN2004, March 26-29 2004

Venue:  US Department of State, Washington, DC and the Hilton Hotel, Mark Center, Alexandria, Virginia

Chairman: Mr. Larry Winter Roeder, Jr., MS, Policy Adviser on Disaster Management, US Department of State, IO/SHA.

Official Report

GLIDE Disaster Identification Program (a GDIN initiative), is announced.

Participants

Background

The Conference offered numerous plenary and parallel sessions heavily emphasizing audience interaction to better IDENTIFY and RESOLVE real disaster information management issues.

Significant opportunities were provided for academia, industry, government, private and voluntary organizations, and UN/international organizations to exhibit wares and services.

A highlight was post-conference field trips to federal and local disaster centers.

New topics were the Native American Disaster Network, cosponsored by OECD, Paris and Animal Welfare, as a tool to reduce poverty, hunger and disease in refugee situations in the developing world.

The State of Virginia (the host State) donated the services of  five honor secondary public school students  as interns. The students were provided to help participants with any legitimate need, take messages, help prepare papers, do essential errands. Each of these students esd already been a Page in the US Congress and is considered to be on of the top students in the State of Virginia.

The George Washington University in Washington, DC also  provided a group of top Graduate level students to act as note takers for each panel. These students were already studying disaster management and were of enormous assistance to panel Chairpersons in their efforts to develop professional reports on conference accomplishments.

The Tampere Convention  on the Provision of Emergency Telecommunications figured strongly in the conference.  It is a legally binding international instrument aimed at helping relief workers bring telecommunications equipment across borders during and after an emergency, with a minimum of difficulty, and then use the equipment with safety and security during the crisis.
The Convention also recognizes the sovereign interests of States Parties and the need to provide protections to host governments against political and other potential abuses.  The Tampere Convention was unanimously adopted by the delegations of the 60 States participating in the Intergovernmental Conference on Emergency Telecommunications (ICET-98), hosted by the Government of Finland in Tampere, Finland, 16-18 June 1998.