By Denis McClean
GENEVA, 17 May 2019 - The Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction closed today with a warning that not enough countries are yet putting in place national and local strategies to prevent future disasters and reduce the existing level of disaster losses.
While 116 UN Member States are reporting against the seven targets of the Sendai Framework, the global plan to reduce disaster losses, just 92 countries have reported putting these strategies in place to meet the 2020 deadline set out in target (e).
Manuel Sager, Secretary of State for Switzerland and Global Platform co-chair, read out the Chair’s Summary which stated that “the current pace of implementation is not fast enough to meet the 2020 deadline for target (e) and may delay further progress on other targets.”
The other six targets include reducing disaster-related mortality, the numbers of disaster affected, economic losses and damage to critical infrastructure. There are also targets for enhanced international cooperation and increased availability of multi-hazard early warning systems.
The Chair’s Summary took up the conference theme “Resilience Dividend: Toward Sustainable and Inclusive Societies” and found that “the application of risk-informed investment and development decisions are still the exception rather than the rule.”
Marwen Elmenshawy, speaking on behalf of the stakeholders, said that the Stakeholder Engagment Mechanism was united in support of efforts to have national and local strategies for disaster risk reduction in place by 2020.
In her closing remarks, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction, Mami Mizutori, expressed her gratitude to the government of Switzerland, the canton and city of Geneva and the staff and volunteers who had done so much to welcome the 4,000 participants throughout the week.
“I would also like to thank our partners who organized the successful preparatory day events including the World Bank, the World Meteorological Organization, UNDP, OHRLLS, the International Science Council and our many stakeholders,” she said.
“The Resilience Dividend has been the common thread running through our discussions as we seek to accelerate implementation of the Sendai Framework and achieve the seven targets by 2030.
“This has been a week where pathways to exclusion have been fully explored because inclusion does matter if we are to achieve the Sendai targets and reduce the numbers of people affected by disasters in the same way that progress has been made on reducing mortality,” Ms. Mizutori told the Closing Ceremony in her capacity as co-chair.
Taking note of the current place of implementation of the Sendai Framework, she said: “There is little doubt that we must accelerate our efforts and raise our level of ambition. The work of disaster risk reduction is vital to the overall success of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
“This week we also launched the 2019 Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction – GAR2019 – and it sends out a clear message that risk is more deeply embedded in the world around us than we previously realized.
“We must go out from this Global Platform more convinced than ever that our cause is just and right, and raise our level of ambition to meet the challenge.”
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