Senior UN relief official appointed to new post on disaster risk reduction

17 November 2008

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has appointed a highly experienced United Nations relief official to a new post created to step up action and international cooperation on disaster risk reduction.

Margareta Wahlström becomes Assistant Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction and the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for the implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action in the Secretariat for the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR).

The new post, which is voluntarily funded and based in Geneva, is designed to focus on disaster risk reduction at a time when climate change is steadily increasing the number and intensity of natural disasters worldwide.

Ms. Wahlström, a Swedish national, has 25 years of domestic and international experience in disaster management and institution-building for strengthening capacity for disaster preparedness and risk reduction. Most recently she has served as Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and the UN’s Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator.

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