Disaster Reduction As a Central Element
of Government Policy


Philippe Boullé
IDNDR Secretariat

(Logo used with permission)


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About Philippe Boullé

IDNDR Home Page
Natural Disaster Management (commemorative volume)

The Geneva Mandate on Disaster Reduction
Strategy for A SAFER WORLD in the 21st CENTURY
1999 Conference Page: The Concluding Phase

1998 Conference Page: Natural Disaster Prevention and the Media
1997 Conference Page: Socio-Economic Impact of Water-related Disasters
1996 Conference Page: Solutions for Cities at Risk
IDNDR Background Info


EIIP Virtual Forum Special Feature
Wednesday - June 23, 1999 - 12:00 Noon EDT

Concluding Phase of the
International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction


Philippe Boullé
UN IDNDR Secretariat

Amy Sebring, EIIP Technical Projects Coordinator

As the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction comes to a close, various meetings and an Internet conference occurred around the world to reflect on the efforts of the past several years and to look ahead to the next decade, century, and beyond. To assist with this effort, the EIIP Virtual Forum was honored to feature Philippe Boullé, Director of the UN IDNDR Secretariat.

Mr. Boullé addressed the theme of "Disaster Reduction as a Central Element of Government Policy." He stressed that the growing interdependence and complexity of relations between nations of the world means that disasters in fact affect directly or indirectly all countries. Each government must therefore take the threat of natural hazards seriously, even if it relates to other countries, and understand what it means for their own economy and their future.

Disasters cost more and more to our societies --- more than $80 billion/year on average since 1990. Disasters have become socio-economic events, natural hazards that trigger them being only the start of a process, not the process itself. Therefore, for purely economic reasons in an interdependent world, all governments have to consider disaster reduction as an important element of government policy.

IDNDR Secretariat

Philippe L. Boullé holds a degree from the "Institut d'Etudes Politiques" de Paris, the "Faculté de Droit et des Sciences Economiques de Paris" and the "Faculté de Gestion et d'Economie Appliquée de Paris". Before joining the United Nations in 1980, he was Secretary-General, Mauritius Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Manager, Head Office, Mauritius Commercial Bank Ltd. After occupying positions in the United Nations Capital Development
Fund (UNCDF) and in the Office of the Director-General of the United Nations Office for Development and International Economic Cooperation, he became the Director of the New York Office of the Disaster Relief Co-ordinator (UNDRO). He was also the Acting Director of the Division for the General Assembly Affairs of the United Nations (1989-1990).

In 1990, Mr. Boullé was stationed in Jordan where he coordinated the United Nations efforts for repatriation of third country nationals having crossed over from Iraq and Kuwait. In 1992, Mr. Boullé became the Chief of the Geneva based Information Management and External Relations Branch of the Department of Humanitarian Affairs. He acts as Officer-in-Charge of the Geneva Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs OCHA (formerly DHA) in the absence of its Director. Since June 1997, Mr. Boullé is the Director of the IDNDR Secretariat (International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction).

Mr. Boullé holds Mauritian and French citizenship.

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Virtual Forum Page