Annual Meeting 2008:

Click on session title for more detailed information:

Wednesday, 25 June

Parallel (Breakfast) Roundtables

Breakfast will be served for all participants at each of the roundtables.

Energy for the Poor: Energizing the MDGs
Often referred to as “the missing MDG”, energy is pivotal to achieving all of the Millennium Development Goals. Its production and consumption are also a key factor in protecting against the adverse impacts of climate change. At the same time, improving the standard of living of the world’s poor must be grounded in sustainable development; it must favour latest clean technologies over the fossil fuel-based sources privileged by the majority of the world’s modern economies. What incentives are needed to substantially boost investment in energy services for the poor? What feasible opportunities exist for decentralized, “leapfrog”, resilient and renewable energy technologies?

John Drexhage, Director of Climate Change and Energy, the International Institute for Sustainable Development
Jan van der Eijk, Group Chief Technology Officer, Royal Dutch Shell
John McCall MacBain, founder and Director, MacCall MacBain Foundation
Susan McDade, UNDP Resident Representative, Cuba
Kristine Pearson, CEO, Freeplay Foundation

Moderated by
Rajendra Pachauri, Chairman, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC); Chairman, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI)
Climate Responsibility and Global Media
As the outreach and influence of global media continues to expand, what role can be played in building global climate responsibility? What can the information media industry do to illustrate the magnitude of the climate problem? How can climate justice be communicated by the media? What role can communications technology play in tackling the climate problem? How can adequate information and communication services be ensured for the poorest groups? And how can latest technologies be used to bridge the communication gap that separates rich from poor?

Hervé de Clerck, Editor-in-Cheif,; Initiator, ACT Responsible
Mo Ibrahim, founder, Celtel International; founder, the Mo Ibrahim Foundation
Ahmed Sheikh, Editor-in-Cheif, Al Jazeera Network
Carl-Henric Svanberg, Chairman of the Board, Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications; President and CEO, Ericsson
Houlin Zhao, Deputy Secretary-General, International Telecommunications Union

Moderated by
Barbara Stocking, Director, Oxfam GB
Climate Change and Health: What Partnerships?
The enormous impact climate change is having and will have on public health is only beginning to be seen as cause for serious concern. Heat, malnutrition and hunger facilitate the spread of vector borne diseases like malaria, schistosomiasis and dengue fever. Flooding can dramatically increase the likelihood of contracting water borne diseases, such as cryptosporidiosis, amoebiasis or typhoid, as clean water is often unobtainable or becomes contaminated. While little or no access to medical services and medication mean diseases go untreated and epidemics unrestrained. Drugs, the Internet, and other latest technologies are needed to combat these growing health concerns, but are rarely at the disposal of those most in need. What partnerships can change that?

Charles Knirsch, Vice President, Global Medical Research and Development, Pfizer
Francois Marc LaForce, Director, Meningitis Vaccine Project
Klaus Leisinger, President and CEO, Novartis Foundation for Sustainable Development; Special Advisor of the UN Secretary-General on the Global Compact
Eric Rasmussen, CEO, InSTEDD
David Rogers, President, Health and Climate Foundation

Moderated by
David Nabarro, UN System Senior Coordinator for Avian and Human Influenza
Dealing with Regional Water Stress
In the past, availability of water resources have dictated human settlement. Climate change is shifting the availability of water worldwide, with pressurizing consequences on communities in a number of regions. Water stress in the form of severe drought, dwindling groundwater sources and changing rain patterns is rendering land uninhabitable in worst affected areas. Is mass migration the only sensible long-term solution for such situations? In more marginal contexts, can traditional settlements be safeguarded by more effective resource management practices, such as crop substitution or advanced irrigation? Could net import of water-intensive goods be another promising strategy?

E. Neville Isdell, Chairman, The Coca Cola Company
Brunson McKinley, Director General, International Organization for Migration
Philippe Roch, Secretary of State and Director, Swiss Agency for the Environment, Forests and Landscape (1992-2005)
Youba Sokona, Executive Secretary, Sahara and Sahel Observatory

Moderated by
Jeffrey Sachs, Director, The Earth Institute at Columbia University; Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General on the Millennium Development Goals

Practical Solutions to Empower Vulnerable People and Communities
Basic solutions, such as drip irrigation and roof-water harvesting, can significantly boost the resilience of communities against climate threats. Information and communication technologies can empower vulnerable communities by increasing access to crucial knowledge. They can also help create a sense of global responsibility and citizenship by connecting people from any region of the world. What are the most promising solutions? How can their implementation be accelerated? And at the local level, what means do communities have to manage their adaptation needs?

Madeleen Helmer, Head, Red Cross/Red Crescent
Climate Centre
Dean Hirsch, President and CEO, World Vision International
Samuel Kobia, General Secretary, World Council of Churches
Julia Marton-Lefevre, Director General, World Conservation Union (IUCN)
Judith Rodin, President, Rockefeller Foundation

Moderated by
Rinalia Abdul Rahim, Executive Director, Global Knowledge Partnership

Coastal Cities in the Global South: Waiting for another Mega-Disaster?
Coastal cities constitute the backbone of international trade and the world economy. Assets of these cities that are exposed to climate risks are estimated to reach 9% of global GDP by 2070. Expensive measures in urban administration, planning and civil defence will help some cities to manage these risks. For many developing country cities, however, adaptation is often a politically unjustifiable luxury. Yet a Cyclone Nargis could be repeated in any number of least developed zones. Are we simply waiting for the next mega-disaster? Or can we ensure climate-proofing for even the poorest of the world’s vulnerable coastal cities?

Kee Nguan Goh, CEO, Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games Organising Committee;
Brigadier General, Singapore Armed Forces (National Service)
Celine Herweijer, Principal Scientist of Future Climate, Risk Management Solutions
Adam Kimbisa, Mayor, Dar es Salaam
Markku Niskala, Secretary-General, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
Margareta Wahlström, Senior Advisor, International Strategy for Disaster Reduction; UN Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Relief
Coordinator (2004–2007)

Moderated by
Bert Koenders, Minister of Development Cooperation, Netherlands


Refreshments and coffee will be served in the Grand Foyer.

Plenary 10:30–13:00

Moderated by Philippe Mottaz, Director, World Radio Switzerland

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

Bert Koenders
David Nabarro
Rajendra Pachauri
Rinalia Abdul Rahim
Jeffrey Sachs
Barbara Stocking

Moderated by
Nisha Pillai, News Presenter, BBC World television
Debate: Is politics or technology the grand solution to climate challenge?
Javier Solana, High Representative for the Common Foreign and
Security Policy, European Union; Secretary-General, Council of the European Union; Secretary-General, NATO (1995–1999)
Jeffrey Sachs, Director, The Earth Institute at Columbia University; Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General on the Millennium Development Goals

Moderated by
Philippe Mottaz, Director, World Radio Switzerland
Closing Remarks
Kofi A. Annan, President, Global Humanitarian Forum;
UN Secretary-General (1997–2006)


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

Plenary 14:00–15:00

Moderated by Philippe Mottaz, Director, World Radio Switzerland

A Road Map for New ideas on Adaptation to Climate Change: the BrainStore Approach
BrainStore develops ideas using an industrial process. Gathering the input of all participants, this session will lay the groundwork for a Global Humanitarian Forum outreach programme for new ideas on adaptation.

Presented by
Markus Mettler,
Chairman, co-founder & IdeaDirector, BrainStore

End of Annual Meeting 2008

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