Annual Meeting 2008:

Click on session title for more detailed information:

Tuesday, 24 June

Plenary 09:15–12:30

Moderated by Philippe Mottaz, Director, World Radio Switzerland

Representative of the Swiss Federal Government

Laurent Moutinot, President of the State Council, Republic and Canton of Geneva
Opening Address: The Human Face of Climate Change
Kofi A. Annan, President, Global Humanitarian Forum;
United Nations Secretary-General (1997–2006)
Climate Witnesses
Young people from vulnerable communities in affected regions speak out on how climate change affects their lives – in cooperation with the British Council, including:

James Bing (Marshall Islands)
Yunan Jin (China)
Jesse Mike (Nunavut,Canada)
Mama N'doda (Togo)
Guilherme Pastore (Brazil)
Rishika Das Roy (India)

Moderated by
Martin Davidson, CEO, British Council
Srgjan Kerim, President of the UN General Assembly


Refreshments and coffee will be served in the Grand Foyer.
Climate Justice in a Shared Global Ecosphere
The wealth of the industrialized world is largely based on past and current fossil fuel consumption that is itself the principle cause of global warming. Those who have consumed the least carbon resources, who have contributed the least to climate change, suffer the brunt of its adverse effects. Under a shared ecosphere, and given scarce global resources, historical economic growth has also seriously exacerbated ongoing poverty reduction efforts. But linking these issues together can be grounds for a global solution. Could the architecture of a post-Kyoto agreement be capable of effectively reconciling these injustices? Or is a post-Kyoto framework destined to be an effective tool only for the promotion of emission reductions? Would emission trading on a worldwide but individual, per capita, level provide a better instrument for ensuring global climate justice? Indeed, could personal responsibility for individual carbon emissions provide for a new system of global equity? Do other serious alternatives exist?

Yvo de Boer,
Executive Secretary, UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
Richard Branson, Chairman, Virgin Group
Ricardo Lagos, Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General on Climate Change; President, Club of Madrid; President of Chile (2001–2006)
Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, President of the Maldives

Moderated by
Mary Robinson, President, Realizing Rights; UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (1997-2002); President of Ireland (1990–1997)


A seated lunch will be served in Room B-C-D adjacent to the Grand Foyer and Plenary Room.

Parallel Roundtables 14:00–16:00

The Climate-Security Nexus: Conflict or Cooperation?
Climate change will place vulnerable communities under unbearable stress. Impacts such as more frequent and intense storms and flooding are causing new and more acute humanitarian crises. In some regions, slower-onset disasters, such as climate change driven water stress are exacerbating existing humanitarian situations, and may already be fuelling regional instability in worst affected areas. In the Sahel, we witness tensions among competing nomads, subsistence farmers and other communities, while the retreat of glacial ice in the arctic zone may be cause for confrontation in the scramble for new resources. Can we talk of “resource wars”? What is the extent of the link between climate and security now and tomorrow? Over the coming half-century, could climate change redefine security policy worldwide? How can we encourage better cooperation among peoples and nations to meet these challenges and avoid the great potential for conflict, particularly among competing vulnerable communities?

Mats Berdal, Professor of Security and Development, Department of War Studies, King’s College, London
Gareth Evans, President and CEO, International Crisis Group; Foreign Minister, Australia (1988-96)
António Guterres, UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Rita Hauser, President, The Hauser Foundation; Chair, Board of Directors, International Peace Institute
Jakob Kellenberger, President, International Committee of the Red Cross
Alois Hirschmugl, Brigadier General, International Operations Command, Austrian Armed Forces

Moderated by
Jan Egeland,
Director, Norwegian Institute of International Affairs;
Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on matters relating to the prevention and resolution of conflict; Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator (2003–2006)
5 Key Priorities for Food Security in a Changing Climate
Drought, changing rainfall patterns, insect infestations and other climate change impacts are dramatically aggravating food scarcity in a number of already vulnerable zones. Meanwhile, demand for bio-fuel materials and unfavourable international trade regimes among other factors are causing food prices to reach historic heights. This development is having serious consequences for a number of vulnerable groups, notably the urban poor. At the same time, however, high food prices coupled with continued population expansion are creating new opportunities for farming in poor regions. What are 5 strategies that could enable farmers to take advantage of these opportunities and strengthen food security in the face of worsening climate risks?

Jill Lester, President and CEO, The Hunger Project
John Holmes, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator;
Coordinator, UN High Level Task Force on the Global Food Crisis
Michel Jarraud, Secretary-General, World Meteorological Organization
Pascal Lamy, Director-General, World Trade Organization
Olivier De Schutter, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food
Manuel Aranda da Silva, Senior Adviser to the Executive Director, World Food Programme; Deputy Special
Representative of the UN Secretary-General and Humanitarian Coordinator, UN Mission in Sudan (2004-2007)

Moderated by
Catherine Bertini, Senior Fellow, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Professor of Public Administration, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University; Executive Director, World Food Program (1992–2002)
Are the Right Risks Insured?
Given the scale and breadth of the climate threat, do current patterns of insurance accurately reflect exposure to this new risk on global and regional levels? To what extent are climate-related risks themselves “insurable”? Many developing countries lack any insurance coverage for climate risks whatsoever, even in worst affected regions. As climate change impacts intensify, this insurance deficit will not only impede recovery from large-scale disasters, but also further deter investment where often unfavourable business conditions already prevail. What policies are needed to overturn the climate-insurance deficit for worst affected and most vulnerable regions? Would the appointment of chief risk officers close to political decision-makers be a positive first step?

Jacques Aigrain, CEO, Swiss Re
Gunilla Carlsson,
Minister for International Development Cooperation, Sweden; Chairperson, Commission on Climate Change and Development
Mary Chinery-Hesse, Chief Advisor to the President of Ghana
Kemal Dervis, Administrator, UN Development Programme (UNDP)
Jay Ralph, CEO, Allianz Reinsurance
Simon Upton, Chair, OECD Round Table on Sustainable Development

Moderated by
Donald Johnston, Chairman, International Risk Governance Council; Secretary-General, OECD (1996-2006)
Design and Urban Planning: New Forms of Urban
Life – New Forms of Development?
For most of human history, design followed the respective availability of natural raw materials. With industrialization and globalization, human activity and settlements have become unsustainable, and increasingly so. Our planet cannot bear further greenhouse gas intensive economic growth. If all developing countries are to achieve a high standard of living, the traditional carbon-reliant model cannot be followed. There is a need for new, substantially greener practices. What contribution can smart design and urban planning make towards sustainable development and adaptation for most vulnerable communities? Could good design also help to better harness the resources and traditional knowledge available to developing countries? What could local design and urban planning look like in the twenty-first century? What type of lifestyles and infrastructure are most desirable? Do we need new models of development?

Michelle Colley, Risk Manager, Acclimatise
John Raftery,
Dean, School of the Built Environment, Oxford Brookes University
Darren Robinson, Group Leader, Sustainable Urban Development, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne
Malcolm Smith, Director, Integrated Urbanism, Arup Consulting
Amy Smith, Senior Lecturer, Departement of Mechanical Engineering, co-founder, International Development Initiative, and founder, Designs for Developing Countries Project, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Anna Tibaijuka, Executive Director, United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT)

Moderated by
George Scharffenberger, Executive Director, Richard C. Blum Centre for Developing Economies, University of California, Berkeley
What Business Opportunities for Adaptation?
Adaptation to climate change for most vulnerable communities is estimated to cost in the realm of US$50 billion per year. How much of this figure represents business opportunities? What are the main business opportunities for adaptation? At the same time, adaptation is such a large-scale endeavor that it must be driven by a range of stakeholders, including governments, the private sector, civil society and other partners. However, the private sector continues to be under-engaged compared to other sectors, particularly with respect to most vulnerable groups. What scope is there for triggering more private sector involvement through government incentives? And what would be the appropriate incentives and/or regulatory frameworks?

Ela Bhatt, founder, India's Self-Employed Women's Association
Frits van Dijk, Executive Vice President and Zone Director for Asia, Oceania, Africa and Middle East, Nestlé
Iqbal Quadir, Executive Director, Legatum Centre for Development and Entrepreneurship, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Eric Rey,
President and CEO, Arcadia Biosciences
André Schneider,
Chief Operating Officer, World Economic Forum
Roland Stulz,
Executive Director, Novatlantis,
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Domain

Moderated by
Michel Camdessus, Member, Commission for Africa; Managing Director, International Monetary Fund (1987–2000); Governor, Bank of France (1984–1987)
Innovative Financing for Adaptation: What New Ideas?
Climate change impacts may derail attainment of the Millennium Development Goals by 2015, and in some cases, may even undo existing development investments. Adaptation is the safeguard to this, but will require substantial additional finance above current levels of Official Development Assistance (ODA), which itself continues to fall short of the 0.7% target. In addition, given that climate change is impacting on people and communities now, adaptation is an urgent need. How can funds be more rapidly mobilized? Should adaptation spending be made eligible for ODA labelling for the immediate future? Is another alternative the launch of a new “global fund” to gather and coordinate financing on adaptation for those worst affected? Or will we have to wait for a global post-Kyoto agreement in order to effectively finance such needs?

Rajat Gupta, Chair of the Board, the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; Senior Partner Worldwide Emeritus, McKinsey & Company
Caio Koch-Weser, Vice-Chairman, Deutsche Bank
Ivan Pictet, Vice-President, Global Humanitarian Forum; Senior Managing Partner, Pictet & Cie
Bernard Petit, Deputy Director-General, European Commission Directorate-General, Development
Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul, Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany

Moderated by
Jean-Louis Schiltz, Minister for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs, Communications and Defence, Luxembourg


Refreshments will be served in the Grand Foyer.


Moderated by Philippe Mottaz, Director, World Radio Switzerland

Debate on the Conclusions of the Roundtables
Each of the moderators from the afternoon parallel roundtables will present the outcomes of their sessions followed by debate, including questions from the floor.

Catherine Bertini
Michel Camdessus
Jan Egeland
Donald Johnston
Jean-Louis Schiltz
George Scharffenberger

Moderated by
Nisha Pillai, News Presenter, BBC World television
19:30–21:30 (Boarding 19:00–19:15)
Dinner Cruise
Boat cruise and cocktail dînatoire on Lake Léman hosted by the Swiss Federal Council, the State Council of the Republic and Canton of Geneva, and the Administrative Council of the City of Geneva.

Boarding takes place from the Embarcadère des Pâquis, Quai du Mont Blanc, Geneva (opposite the Beau Rivage Hotel).

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