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Same old story
Hundreds of agencies involved in providing disaster relief reached agreement last year on minimum standards in disaster response. Thousands of technical people discussed details of water supply, sanitation, food, shelter and health care.
What is to be done during the years that such a treaty is in the
 . The beauty of this process is that the low-cost solutions will filter into society. Citizens groups will demand action by their governments, as they did in Turkey when it became clear that contractors hadn't followed building codes and had used low-quality materials.  
 of disasters has to come from the bottom up as well as from the top down.
Absolute safety is not a human right. Safety from
 loss, injury and death is. Nothing in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights makes much sense if the human beings who are supposed to enjoy these rights can be snuffed out because a government neglected to enforce its own building codes. Rights are not given. Throughout history they have had to be demanded and constructed. It will take all of our efforts and the combined efforts of all sectors - businesses, churches, universities, environmental groups and governments - to finish the unfinished business of the Disaster Decade.

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