Participation in the Sixth Session of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (GPDRR) and Science and Policy Forum 2019

Prof Emily Chan, CCOUC Centre Director, led three CCOUC colleagues, Ms Gloria Chan, Mr Cheuk Pong Chiu, and Ms Asta Man, to attend the Sixth Session of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (GPDRR) and a pre-event meeting in Geneva, Switzerland from 13 to 17 May 2019. One of the pre-events was the Science and Policy Forum at the Palais des Nations, which emphasized the need for collaboration and integration across all fields in science and policy. Other key topics included the impacts of climate change on disasters, updating hazard terminology, understanding risks, and how to use data.

The GPDRR itself was held at the Centre International de Conférences (CICG) during 15-17 May and CCOUC was engaged in various events and presentations. The overall theme of the conference was "Resilience dividend: towards sustainable and inclusive societies", co-hosted by the Government of Switzerland and the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR).

On 15 May, Mr Chiu gave a 15-minute oral presentation during the Ignite Stage on "Leaving no one behind: Online sign language course for first responders and public in health emergencies". The presentation emphasized the involvement of the deaf and first-responder communities to produce an online course that was based on real life situations and experiences for the intended students. It also pointed out the significance of the communication between emergency first responders and persons with hearing disabilities during health emergencies and the importance of inclusion and universal access in policy making.

On the same day, there was a health innovation showcase entitled "Protecting health from emergencies and disasters", where Ms Gloria Chan talked about the development of a health mobile application tailored to the rural health needs in China. The need for culturally sensitive educational tools was highlighted.

On 16 May, a working session was held on "Health in all disasters and risk management strategies", where Prof Emily Chan was the moderator for the panel discussion. Immediately afterwards was a symposium where various international and national health emergency disaster risk management (Health-EDRM) actions were presented.

This conference also marked the launch of the WHO Health Emergency and Disaster Risk Management Framework, which assists nations and other stakeholders to enable a multisectoral approach to health and DRR across all of society.