Press Release – 10 June 2008

The Global Humanitarian Forum Geneva Mobilizes for Climate Justice

GENEVA, Switzerland, 10 June – In the aftermath of Myanmar’s Cyclone Nargis and in view of the ongoing global food crisis, the Forum’s President Kofi Annan has called together more than 200
leaders from all sectors of society worldwide to urgently address what he calls “the human face of climate change”: the world’s poorest and most vulnerable populations affected by increasingly violent storms, drought and floods.

The event will be the first annual meeting of the Global Humanitarian Forum and takes place on 24–25 June in the humanitarian capital of Geneva. In solidarity with the world’s most vulnerable people, the Forum is building a stronger global community for overcoming humanitarian challenges. The meeting will pool the expertise and experience of an uncommon combination of leading people from all sectors of society brought together by Kofi Annan. They will work to
develop creative solutions and boost action to meet the urgent needs of those worst affected by climate change.

The meeting will place climate justice high on the agenda as the guiding principle in the international response to climate change and as the basis for any future global climate agreement.

“What makes the meeting unusual and the Forum rather unique,” says Kofi Annan, President of the Forum, “is that we bring together leaders with different backgrounds and interests who are committing themselves to working together. They are capable of triggering collective action to protect the tens of millions of poor and vulnerable people suffering the growing impact of climate change.”

Among the participants are: Jacques Aigrain, CEO, Swiss Re; Ela Bhatt, Founder, India Self-Employed Women’s Association; Yvo de Boer, Executive Secretary, UNFCCC; Richard Branson, Chairman, Virgin Group; Gunilla Carlsson, Minister for International Development Cooperation, Sweden; Kemal Dervis, Administrator, United Nations Development Programme; Gareth Evans, President and CEO, Crisis Group International; John Holmes, UN Emergency Relief Coordinator; Mohamed Ibrahim, Founder, Celtel International; Founder; Mo Ibrahim Foundation; E. Neville Isdell, Chairman, The Coca Cola Company; Donald Kaberuka, President, African Development Bank; Jakob Kellenberger, President, International Committee of the Red Cross; Caio Koch-Weser, Vice Chairman, Deutsche Bank; Bert Koenders, Minister for Development Cooperation, Netherlands; Jeffrey Sachs, Director, Earth Institute; Ahmed Sheikh, Head of News, Al Jazeera Arabic; Javier Solana, Secretary-General, Council of the European Union; High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy, European Union; Carl-Henric Svanberg, Chairman of the Board, Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications; President and CEO, Ericsson; Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul, Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany.

The Members of the Global Humanitarian Forum's Board will also participate and play an active role in the Annual Meeting.

Journalists are encouraged to attend the plenary sessions.

Media contact:
Cécile Coutau
+41 (0) 79 500 35 05
+41 (0) 22 919 75 06

Media contact:

Cécile Coutau
+41 (0) 79 500 35 05
+41 (0) 22 919 75 06

Why we have to
act now

Kofi Annan

President of the Forum

Ivan Pictet

Vice-President of the Forum's Board

Rajendra K. Pachauri

Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

Dean Hirsch

President and CEO,
World Vision International

Blaise Godet

Permanent Representative of the Swiss Confederation to the UN Office at Geneva

Barbara Stocking

Director, Oxfam GB