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High-level meeting on Hurricane Irma

18 September 2017 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

High-level meeting on Hurricane Irma

18 September 2017


Co-hosted by the United Nations Secretary-General and the President of the General Assembly, the high-level meeting aims to gain high-level political attention to the devastation caused by Hurricane Irma on Caribbean Island states, secure commitment to support countries and people affected, and highlighting the need for building more resilient communities to natural disasters, including those impacted by climate change. The event will also serve to show solidarity towards affected countries and territories and to highlight the coordinated response between the United Nations, regional organisations, humanitarian actors and affected governments.

Equally the event offers an opportunity to highlight the role of climate change in extreme weather events, the need to promote resilience by “Building Back Better”, and the importance of strengthening the humanitarian-development nexus to reduce risk and vulnerability and build resilience to future natural disasters, including hurricanes. The event will convene UN Member States, regional organisations, UN Agencies, and other international actors.



18 September 2017

12:00 Opening remarks by H.E. Mr. Miroslav Lajčák, the President of the General Assembly

12:03 Video on the devastating impact of Hurricane Irma on Barbuda

12:06 Remarks by the Governor General of Antigua and Barbuda, Sir Rodney Errey Lawrence Williams, KGN, GCMG

12:09 Remarks by H.E. Mr. Danilo Medina Sánchez, President of the Dominican Republic

12:12 Remarks by H.E. Mr. Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cuba

12:15 Remarks by Mr. Mark Lowcock, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator

12:18 Remarks by H.E. Mr. Darren Henfield, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Bahamas

12:21 Remarks by H.E. Mr. Bert Koenders, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

12:24 Remarks by Mr. Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator

12:27 H.E. Mr. Alistair Burt MP, Minister of State for International Development and Minister of State for the Middle East at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office of the United Kingdom

12:30 Remarks by H.E. Mr. Nicolas Hulot, Minister for an Ecological and Inclusive Transition of France

12:33 Remarks by H.E. Ms. Michele Sison, Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations

12:36 Remarks by Ms. Kristalina Georgieva, Chief Executive Officer of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and International Development Association, World Bank

12:39 Remarks by Mr. Robert de Niro

12:41 Remarks by Member States expressing their solidarity and support (1 minute each)

12:45 Remarks by H.E. Mr. António Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General

12:59 Closing by H.E. Mr. Miroslav Lajčák, the President of the General Assembly


  1. Draw high-level political attention to the suffering and loss of lives and livelihoods caused by Hurricane Irma, and show solidarity towards all affected countries and territories. Advocate for the humanitarian regional response plan, the UNDP recovery response plan in support of Government priorities as an effective way to support the immediate response to humanitarian needs while linking with reconstruction and disaster risk reduction.
  2. Focus attention on the impacts of the hurricane season and its links to climate change.
  3. Advocate for a proactive, preventive and joined-up approach to natural disasters and future climate events, with governments and development partners increasing risk and vulnerability reduction efforts, and humanitarian actors strengthening emergency response preparedness in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
  4. Highlight the United Nations response to the hurricane, working closely together with the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), national and local authorities and offices of United Nations Resident Coordinators in affected countries.


The event will convene UN Member States, regional organisations, UN Agencies, and other international actors.

Member States and all observers of the General Assembly are invited to be represented at the highest possible level.


14 September 2017

Invitation and Concept Note



Media Advisory

The meeting is open to media



Hashtags: #HurricaneIrma #UNGA


18 September 2017
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Event Category: