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Remarks by AIT Director Sandra Oudkirk at 2021 GCTF Virtual Conference on Building Disaster Resilience
September 24, 2021


Remarks by AIT Director Sandra Oudkirk at 2021 Global Cooperation and Training Framework (GCTF) Virtual Conference on
Building Disaster Resilience at Global and National Levels


Foreign Minister Wu[1], Science and Technology Minister Wu, colleagues, ladies and gentlemen, friends,

It is my great pleasure to kick off part two of our workshop on “Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disaster” held under the Global Cooperation and Training Framework program, or “GCTF.”[2]

I would like to extend my appreciation to Dr. Li Wei-sen and his team at the National Center for Disaster Reduction under the Ministry of Science and Technology, as well as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, for organizing today’s event.

This workshop is the final activity for the United States, Taiwan, and Japan in a yearlong effort that began on the tenth anniversary of the March 11, 2011 triple disaster at Fukushima, and ends on September 21, the 22nd anniversary of Taiwan’s second deadliest seismic event ever, the Chi Chi earthquake in Nantou.  Through the “Partners in Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief: Awareness – Resilience – Action” campaign, we have deepened our cooperation and raised public awareness about the important role of personal resilience and civic readiness in confronting natural or man-made disasters.

The United States is committed to working with partners on disaster relief and response.  At the G7 meeting in Cornwall, President Biden and partners announced a unified vision for global infrastructure development and introduced the Build Back Better World initiative.

Build Back Better World is a value-driven, high-standard, and transparent infrastructure partnership aimed at mobilizing infrastructure investments in low- and middle-income countries to support sustainable infrastructure development in the areas of climate, health and health security, technology, and gender equity and equality.  All are essential aspects to promote disaster-resilient societies and economies.

As we work together to create foundations for disaster resilience, sharing experience is essential.  We are honored to have so many HADR experts from around the world join us today.  I know my colleagues from the Center for Excellence in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance and from the U.S. Agency for International Development as well as experts from Japan, the United Kingdom, and Australia are looking forward to sharing their valuable technical expertise during today’s workshop.

On behalf of the United States, I want to thank all of you for the work you all do to keep our world safe and resilient.  I am delighted that you were all able to take the time to participate in this important workshop. I hope you have a productive discussion. Thank you.

[1] Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Tseng Ho-jen replaced Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu to give remarks.

[2] The correct title of the event is “Building Disaster Resilience at Global and National Levels.”