The Kickoff Meeting

Dates: 26-28 June 2007
Venue: Tokyo-Tsukuba, Japan

The kickoff meeting of the “UNESCO Project,” formally named later as the “International Platform for Reducing Earthquake Disaster (IPRED),” was held at Mita Kaigisho, Tokyo, Japan on 27 June, 2007. The meeting was jointly organized by the UNESCO Headquarters, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) of Japan, and the Building Research Institute (BRI) of Japan. The meeting was also supported by the Japanese National Commission for UNESCO, the Cabinet Office of Japan, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS), the United Nations Centre for Regional Development (UNCRD).

The meeting was attended by representatives of the UNESCO Headquarters, eight countries with experiences of JICA projects regarding earthquake disaster reduction in the past, MLIT, BRI, and related organizations.

The meeting began with opening remarks by Dr. Hiroto Izumi, Deputy Director-General, Housing Bureau, MLIT, and congratulatory address by Mr. Keiji Takenawa on behalf of Mr. Kenji Seyama, Secretary-General, Japanese National Commission for UNESCO. 

Presentations were made by Dr. Badaoui Rouhban, Chief, Section for Disaster Reduction, Natural Sciences Sector, UNESCO, and Dr. Nobuo Hurukawa, Director, International Institute of Seismology and Earthquake Engineering (IISEE), BRI, followed by introduction of the concept of the “UNESCO Project” from the secretariat. At the end of the morning session, Prof. Yoshiaki Nakano, Institute of Industrial Science, University of Tokyo, and Prof. Kenji Okazaki, GRIPS gave keynote speeches.

Prof. Tsuneo Okada, Professor Emeritus, University of Tokyo, chaired the afternoon session, and representatives of eight countries (Chile, Egypt, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Peru, Romania, and Turkey) reported their activities and expectations for the “UNESCO Project.”

After the each country’s presentation, there was an exchange of views on establishing an international network regarding seismology and earthquake engineering for earthquake disaster mitigation of buildings. The formal name and nickname for the “UNESCO Project” were also discussed. Resolutions were adopted at the end of the meeting.

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