Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction 2015
Making development sustainable: The future of disaster risk management

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1.2 Enter the HFA
Decades of disaster and risk management experience have defined the disaster risk reduction agenda laid down in the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA).
On 17 January 1995, the Great Hanshin earthquake devastated the port of Kobe, Japan (UNISDR, 2013a

UNISDR. 2013a,Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction: From Shared Risk to Shared Value: the Business Case for Disaster Risk Reduction, Geneva, Switzerland: UNISDR.. .
). Ten years after the quake, some 23 days after the impact of the Indian Ocean tsunamis and 223 days before Hurricane Katrina made landfall in New Orleans, 168 UN Member States gathered in Kobe to adopt a new international framework for disaster reduction, better known as the Hyogo Framework for Action: 2005-2015, or HFA.
Under the slogan Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disasters, the HFA was structured around an expected outcome, three strategic goals and five priorities for action (Figure 1.3).
The World Conference in Kobe was planned long before the Indian Ocean tsunamis, and the HFA was not the first international agreement to address disaster risks. Since 1979, a number of international agreements and policy frameworks have evolved to guide global and national efforts in disaster risk reduction (Box 1.2). However, the magnitude of the disasters in the Indian Ocean and the consequent global humanitarian response galvanized a level of political interest in the HFA that might not have arisen otherwise.
These 25 years of international agreements indicate a growing, albeit sometimes symbolic, political commitment by UN Member States to the policy goal of disaster risk reduction (Olson et al., 2011

Olson, Richard Stuart, Juan Pablo Sarmiento and Gabriela Hoberman. 2011,Establishing public accountability, speaking truth to power and inducing political will for disaster risk reduction: ‘Ocho Rios + 25’, Environmental Hazards, Vol. 10, No. 1: 59-68.. .
). However, 25 years after the declaration of the IDNDR, 20 years after the Yokohama Strategy, 15 years after the launch of the ISDR and 10 years after the endorsement of the HFA, evidence of continued disaster risk and loss still questions the extent to which the expected outcome of the HFA, “The substantial reduction of disaster losses,
Box 1.2 International agreements to address disaster risks
As early as 1979, an expert group convened by the Office of the United Nations Disaster Relief Coordinator (UNDRO) concluded that “it is now also realized that the actual and potential consequences of natural hazards are becoming so serious and so increasingly global in scale, that much greater emphasis will henceforth have to be given to pre-disaster planning and prevention” (UNDRO, 1980

UNDRO (Office of the United Nations Disaster Relief Coordinator). 1980,Natural Disasters and Vulnerability Analysis, Report of Expert Group Meeting, 9-12 July 1979. United Nations, Geneva.. .

Nearly a decade later, the UN General Assembly designated the 1990s as the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction (IDNDR) and defined five specific goals, including “to disseminate existing and new information related to measures for the assessment, prediction, prevention and mitigation of natural disasters” and to develop programmes of “technical assistance and technology transfer, demonstration projects and education and training, tailored to specific hazards and locations, and to evaluate the effectiveness of those programmes”.

In 1991, the General Assembly noted that approximately 100 States had established national strategies to achieve the objectives of the IDNDR and endorsed a World Conference, which took place in Yokohama, Japan in June 1994. The resulting Yokohama Strategy for a Safer World emphasized the importance of disaster prevention, mitigation and preparedness, highlighting that response alone was not sufficient.

The shift in emphasis from disaster response to disaster risk reduction was taken further in the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR), which was launched in 1999 to follow up on the IDNDR and to develop the Yokohama Strategy and Plan of Action. In addition, in 2002 the Plan of Implementation of the World Summit on Sustainable Development declared: “an integrated, multi-hazard, inclusive approach to address vulnerability, risk assessment and disaster management, including prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery, is an essential element of a safer world in the twenty-first century”.
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