Korea — Margareta Wahlstrom, special representative of the U.N. secretary-general for disaster risk reduction, is one of key figures to attend the sixth International Wildland Fire Conference.
Wahlstrom has extensive experience in disaster relief and disaster risk management with both the U.N. system and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.
She was first appointed by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in November 2008 to head the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, or UNISDR.
The UNISDR is a focal system in the United Nations that coordinates disaster reduction and ensures that its activities run smoothly between U.N. systems and regional organizations, as well as activities in socio-economic and humanitarian fields.
Under Wahlstroms leadership, UNISDR supported the implementation of the The Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015: Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disasters, which aims to reduce disaster losses by building resilience, as well as the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, a 15-year agreement that asks for the state and other stakeholders share responsibility to reduce disaster risk.
Wahlstroms experience in disaster relief spans from conflict emergencies and nonconflict emergencies to issues in long-term sustainable development.
She has previously worked as an under-secretary-general for disaster response and operations and deputy director for operations at the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (1995-2000) and deputy special representative of the secretary-general for relief, recovery and rehabilitation at the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (2002-2004).
She has also been the United Nations special coordinator for humanitarian assistance to the tsunami-affected communities (2004-2005), the deputy emergency relief coordinator and assistant secretary-general for humanitarian affairs at the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (2004-2008) and coordinator of the Independent Panel on Safety and Security of U.N. Personnel and Premises in 2008.