PHL Permanent Representative to UN in Geneva Discusses Assistance to Pagasa with World Meteorological Organization Secretary-General
27 January 2014- Permanent Representative and Ambassador Cecilia B. Rebong of the Philippine Mission to the United Nations and other International Organizations in Geneva paid a courtesy call on Secretary-General Michel Jarraud of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) on January 20.
During the call, Ambassador Rebong thanked the WMO for its assistance in the aftermath of recent typhoons that affected the Philippines. It may be recalled that soon after Typhoons Labuyo (Utor) and Yolanda (Haiyan) hit the country, the WMO expressed readiness to provide emergency assistance to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).
She informed the WMO Secretary-General that the reconstruction and rehabilitation phase of assistance to those affected by Typhoon Yolanda has set in, and expressed the Philippines’ commitment to building back better based on a holistic plan called “Reconstruction Assistance for Yolanda” or RAY.
Noting that WMO’s projects with PAGASA are ongoing, WMO Secretary-General Jarraud added that a WMO fact-finding mission to the Philippines is being planned for the second half of March or early April 2014. During the fact-finding mission, WMO personnel will be meeting with concerned officials to assess the country’s needs and priorities.
As a specialized agency of the United Nations, WMO promotes cooperation and collaboration among its 191 Member-States and Territories in the establishment of networks for making meteorological, climatological, hydrological and geophysical observations, and assists in technology transfer, training and research. WMO’s programmes provide vital information for advance warnings on weather and climate-related hazards that help save lives and reduce damage to property and the environment.
In a related development, Ambassador Rebong delivered a statement at the Ministerial Summit of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) on January 17 where she noted the importance of Earth observations in addressing such challenges as climate change adaptation, resilience to natural hazards, as well as food security, energy security and water security.
Ambassador Rebong expressed the Philippines’ full support to renew the mandate of GEO through 2025, welcomed GEO’s resolve to further strengthen its engagement with developing countries in using Earth observations and its plan to assist developing countries in raising capacities to acquire, share, store, maintain and utilize space-based, air-borne and in-situ Earth observation data that is available on a full and open basis.
GEO is a voluntary partnership of 90 governments, including the Philippines, and 67 intergovernmental and regional organizations that are coordinating efforts to build the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS). END