Statement on behalf of the Group of 77 and China by M. Abdelghani Merabet, Third Secretary at the Permanent Mission of Algeria to the United Nations, at the informal thematic debate of the 66th session of the United Nations General Assembly on disaster risk reduction
I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
1. Let me at the outset congratulate the President of the General Assembly on taking the initiative to convene this thematic debate on Disaster Risk Reduction.
2. The G77 and China believes that this thematic debate, which intervenes within the context of the convening of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, is timely and should give the opportunity to address this important topic for sustainable development and for the Group within the outcome document of the Conference.
3. The Group expresses its concern over the increased frequency and scale of natural disasters in recent years, which have resulted in massive loss of life and long-term negative social, economic and environmental consequences for countries, particularly developing countries. Over the years, the humanitarian challenges resulting from natural disasters continue to increase especially in developing countries.
4. As a result, millions of people were killed and millions are displaced. Disaster impacts are undermining vulnerable livelihoods, countries economic growth and progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals. Moreover, these challenges have been compounded by the impact of the global economic and financial crisis, world food crisis and continuing food insecurity, energy crisis and the challenges posed by climate change.
5. The Group insists on the importance of taking concrete measures to address disaster risk reduction, including through:
- Strengthening coordination among UN agencies and governments to achieve a more efficient response, care and coverage;
- Encouraging the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery to continue to support the implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action; and
- The promotion of public awareness and commitment, the expansion of networks and partnerships, the improvement of knowledge about causes of disasters through risk assessments and options for risk reduction, as well as building resilience and strengthening coping capacities.
6. The Group calls upon the international community, particularly developed countries and the relevant international organizations, to increase their assistance to the affected States, including by supporting efforts towards enhancing their national and regional capacities for implementation of plans and strategies for preparedness, rapid response, recovery and development in relation to natural disasters.
7. Further efforts are needed in terms of the provision of new and additional financial resources and transfer of technology, from developed countries to developing countries, to promote the implementation of programs aimed at disaster risk reduction; and the enhancement of their national and regional capacities for the implementation of plans and strategies for prevention, including early warning systems, preparedness, rapid response, recovery and development in relation to natural disasters.
8. The Group of 77 and China fully supports the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction, the Hyogo Declaration and the Hyogo Framework for Action, and is committed to further promoting their principles and objectives as well as its mandate to promote public awareness and commitment, expand networks and partnerships, and improve knowledge about causes of disaster and options for risk reduction.
9. We highlight the need for the international community to maintain its focus beyond emergency relief and to support medium- and long-term rehabilitation, reconstruction and risk reduction, and stress the importance of implementing and adopting long-term programs related to the eradication of poverty, sustainable development and disaster risk reduction management in developing countries.
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