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The need for the application of international standards has been evolving over the last decade. Consistency is needed not just in how we respond, but in when we respond. The discussions in this theme reflected on the progress of standard setting both at the local level and internationally.
Details of the methods used are provided in the introductory paper. The chairs moderated all presentations and produced a summary that was presented to an assembly of all of the delegates. The chairs then presided over a workshop that resulted in the generation of a set of action plans that then were reported to the collective group of all delegates.
Main points developed during the presentations and discussion included: (1) requirement of standards of care for ALL disasters and core parameters, (2) process and procedure is best when there is interagency collaboration and coordination, (3) problems in disasters are management-related, not skill-related, and (4) standards of care must encompass evolving emergencies (e.g., emerging diseases, landmines).
The action plans for Theme 5 included: (1) develop positions of standards for management, health and public health, education and training, research, psychosocial aspects, and disaster plans; (2) advocate for actions and task forces to deal with evolving and emerging disasters, terrorism, landmines, and emerging infections; (3) proactively work to advocate and facilitate the multidisciplinary and multiorganizational requirements for disaster management; and (4) develop a resource list of interdisciplinary institutions and activities organized by country and topic including the design and maintenance of a website.
There is a clear need for international standards for the management of disasters. Positions and advocacy for these positions are required to define and implement such standards.