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2019

08/08/2019
By Omar Hussein AmachVIENTIANE, 8 August 2019 – As the Government of Lao People's Democratic Republic continues its recovery from the floods of 2018, it is seeking to lessen the risk of future disasters. To accomplish this, the Lao Government and the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction jointly organized a national workshop that brought together development partners and government agencies to lay the foundation for the country’s first national disaster risk reduction strategy. The need for a national disaster risk reduction strategy was made clear nearly a year ago when Laos experienced its worst flooding in decades as a result of the collapse of the dam at the Xe Pian Xe Namnoy hydropower project following heavy rains. The floods inundated 12 villages, killing at least 90 people, and left thousands displaced. “The Party and the Government have recognized and are trying to address the risks of climate change and the effects of natural and man-made disasters that have damaged people’s lives and assets economically, socially and environmentally,” said Dr Khampheng Saysompheng, Minister of Labour and Social Welfare and Chairman of the National Disaster Prevention and Control Committee. “The development of an Action Plan for Disaster Risk Reduction is a government priority for planning, investment in socio-economic development, implementation of rural development strategies, and poverty reduction,” he added. The Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare, which has the lead for disaster planning, invited participants from across the government, in addition to international and civic organizations, to support the strategy development effort. This multi-sectoral approach is critical to supporting the implementation of the strategy and ensuring that risk-informed development is embedded in the plans and budgets of line ministries and local governments. “The best way to deal with systemic risks is by avoiding the old business model of compartmentalizing disaster risk reduction as an isolated activity and adopting a ‘systems approach’ to addressing all risks,” said Ms Sara Sekkenes, the UN Resident Coordinator in Lao PDR. The workshop was also an opportunity for development partners to share case studies and map ongoing efforts to reduce disaster risk, which could be leveraged to support implementation of the national strategy. The development of a national strategy to reduce disaster risks and build resilience is one of the primary targets of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, a 15-year global roadmap for reducing disaster losses. The development of a strategy focused on reducing risks will help Lao PDR address root causes of disasters and safeguard social and economic development gains. Participants also received training on how to report on progress in achieving the goals of the Sendai Framework. Using the Sendai Monitor tool, Laos will report on a set of 38 indicators which tracks progress on reducing their disaster risks. Some of these indicators are associated with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the training highlighted the need for a “whole of society” approach to data collection and analysis. The four-day workshop, which ran from 5-8 August, was held in the capital city Vientiane with funding support from the Korean Ministry of the Interior and Safety and Incheon Metropolitan City.
16/07/2019
  POTENZA, 16 July, 2019 – Representatives from ten local municipalities in Tunisia and Mauritania are taking part in the “City-to-City Technical Exchange Workshop on Urban and Territorial Resilience” hosted by the province of Potenza, Italy. The joint activity is part of the “Enhancing Community Resilience and Human Security of Vulnerable Communities in Urban Settings through the Implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030” project funded by the United Nations Trust Fund for Human Security and implemented by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction’s (UNDRR) Regional Office for Arab state in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Tunisia and Mauritania. “When we speak of resilience, the first thing that comes to mind is to try to create a better future for next generations,” said Mr. Rocco Guarino, President of the province of Potenza after welcoming the participants. Mr. Guarino reaffirmed Potenza’s commitment to support governments, cities, municipalities and communities worldwide that intend to undertake similar improvement pathways in the field of disaster risk reduction through sharing the experience gained by the Province in decades of concrete and positive work. “The workshop we are having this week will allow the exchange of knowledge and help us all find the best way to enforce human security,” said Mr. Annunziato Vardè, Prefect of Potenza. “The Province of Potenza claims an experience that goes far back in time, characterized with a strong institutional action on a small territory with great fragilities and hazards such as earthquakes, landslides and other natural hazards. We are confident that this opportunity will allow us to share knowledge and commitments for mutual engagement in enhancing community resilience,” said Mr. Alessandro Attolico, Executive Director of the Territorial Planning and Civil Protection Office at the Province of Potenza and UNDRR Advocate for the MCR Campaign. Mr. Valerio Giambersio from the City of Peace for Children Foundation, chaired by Ms. Betty Williams Nobel Peace Prize laureate, presented a model of integration and humanitarian assistance. “The majority of refugees whose stories we presented today are integrated in our society and our aim is to use our full capacity to improve their life and make our community more resilient,” he said. Deputy Chief of the UNDRR Regional Office for Arab states, Mr. Fadi Jannan, highlighted the substantial efforts being made by Arab States to enhance the resilience and security of their local communities. “I would like us all to reflect on how we can capitalize on this opportunity to build synergies, learn from peer experiences and promote best practices in the field of Disaster Risk Reduction,” he said. UNDRR facilitates City-to-City exchange initiatives intended to ignite collaboration and formalize networks between cities to learn from global and regional practices on disaster and climate resilience. Since the launch of the Making Cities Resilient Campaign ten years ago, various exchanges of experiences and dialogues on disaster risk reduction have taken place both between Arab and other local governments from  Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America. “I hope we all benefit from this experience and share our best practices on dealing with floods and sea level rise as Tunisia and Mauritania have similar risks and culture” said Mr. Taleb Mahjoub, Mayor of Tevragh Zeina Director General at the Ministry of Environment and Local Affairs in Tunisia, Mr. Hedi Chebili highlighted that Tunisia is looking forward to the creation of a strong network of cooperation between the cities and municipalities of Tunisia, Mauritania and Potenza. There was a consensus among all the panelists and participants that the city-to-city exchange is a great opportunity to disseminate best practices and find innovative solution to reduce disaster risk and enhance community resilience.
12/07/2019
GANDHINAGAR, 12 July 2019 – Countries in South Asia have made remarkable progress in social and economic development. As the world’s fastest growing region, most countries are now classified middle-income countries and enjoy improving social indicators. Between 1990-2017, the average human development index in the region increased by 45.3 percent, making it the region with the fastest growth in human development globally. The region is also one of the most disaster-prone in the world, facing a diverse set of hazards due to its ecological and geographic diversity. Moreover, as it is home to a quarter of the world’s population, who are increasingly living in dense urban areas, the region hosts one-third of the global number of people affected by disasters. In light of these challenges and to safeguard development and protect lives, countries in the region have made good progress in switching from simply responding to disasters, to actively seeking to prepare for disasters and reduce their risks. “A combination of rapid economic growth and rising disaster risk poses grave obstacles to the development trajectory of the countries in the region. For development to outpace disaster risk, a transformational change in the way we address disasters needs to take place – with a primary focus on risk prevention and building resilience,” said Dr. Animesh Kumar, Deputy Chief of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) in Asia-Pacific. To make a strong case for risk prevention, the interim unit of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation Disaster Management Centre (SDMC-IU) and UNDRR co-organized a regional workshop for all eight SAARC Member States to accelerate their disaster risk management efforts. Participants were drawn from the national disaster risk management agencies and ministries responsible for planning and finance. The workshop was supported by the UNDRR Global Education and Training Institute and the International Recovery Platform Secretariat. Highlighting the importance of the workshop to the SAARC countries, Mr. P. K. Taneja, Director of the SDMC-IU, said: “risks faced by SAARC member states are not individual but always shared, therefore we need mechanisms to address common challenges. Risk knowledge should be at the forefront of all our planning and development decisions.” The ambitious three-day workshop covered a number of interconnected issues that all countries must address to build their disaster resilience and ensure their development investments are risk-informed. This starts by ensuring overall coherence in the government’s approach to development, climate action and disaster risk reduction. Participants shared good practices in implementation of their DRR strategies and identified institutional and financial barriers to risk prevention. “In the Maldives, development used to be ad-hoc. As a result, large-scale land reclamation projects increased our vulnerability to disasters. However, we have now realized how important it is to assess our risk and to adopt an integrated risk management approach,” said Ms. Zeeniya Riyaz from the Maldives Ministry of Planning and Infrastructure, who spoke about the process her country was adopting in developing its first national development plan. Building on the common challenges and shared risks among the SAARC Member States, the workshop will result in a roadmap to revise the regional SAARC Disaster Risk Management Framework to align it with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The workshop also benefited from technical support and advice by the Asian Development Bank, Asian Disaster Preparedness Center, World Food Programme, UNICEF, Japan International Cooperation Agency and SEEDS-India, who all shared their insights during special sessions on financing, building back better, housing reconstruction, and partnerships. SAARC participants also benefited from hearing about the experiences of other Asian regional intergovernmental organisations in the development of their regional DRR strategies, such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Pacific Island Forum Secretariat (PIFS).
08/07/2019
By Saskia CarusiPANAMA CITY, 8 July 2019 – Jamaica will host the region’s highest forum for reviewing progress on reducing disaster losses in Latin America and the Caribbean in July 2020 as the year’s Atlantic Hurricane Season gets underway. The 7th Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction will be the first in the series to be staged in the Caribbean and takes place as UN Member States strive to meet the 2020 deadline for having in place national and local strategies for disaster risk reduction. This is target (e) of the seven targets in the global plan for reducing disaster losses, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction which was adopted by UN Member States in March 2015. Mr. Ronald Jackson, Executive Director of the Caribbean Disaster and Emergency Management Agency, said: “The Caribbean is advancing in many areas related to disaster management but our stories are often not told in the global space and we felt that the Caribbean deserved an opportunity not only to host but to showcase what's happening in the Caribbean on disaster risk reduction.” The Regional Platform will be jointly organized by the Government of Jamaica, the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) and the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) and take place from the 8th to the 10th of July, 2020 at the Convention Center of Montego Bay, Jamaica. The official website will be launched in two days. The Americas - and the Caribbean in particular - has experienced three consecutive destructive and above-average Atlantic hurricane seasons resulting in thousands of deaths, population displacement, damage to critical infrastructure and significant economic losses especially for small island developing states. In 2017, the region suffered the costliest hurricane season on record with estimated losses of US$300 billion.  Hurricanes Maria, Irma and Harvey caused the worst damages and loss of life. The Americas and the Caribbean accounts for 53% of reported global economic losses in the last 20 years as a result of climate-related disasters. The Regional Platform will call for greater ambition, commitment, and leadership by all governments and stakeholders to implement the Regional Action Plan for the Implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 in the Americas and the Caribbean. Mr. Desmond McKenzie, Minister of Local Government & Community Development and Deputy Chairman of the National Disaster Risk Management Council (NDRMC) of Jamaica, said: “The forum will raise public awareness not just in Jamaica but in the region as a whole by providing space for expression of our positions on disaster risk and all the associated issues. The hosting of the 2020 regional platform is going to be a monumental occasion for the people of Jamaica and the region”. This event will recognize and strengthen the role and leadership of community networks, the private sector, development banks, finance and planning institutions, civil society, volunteer groups, women, people with disabilities, indigenous populations, and groups living in conditions of high vulnerability as agents of change in disaster risk reduction and in strengthening resilience throughout the Americas and the Caribbean. Mr. Raúl Salazar, Chief of the UNDRR Regional Office for the Americas and the Caribbean, said: “The Regional Platform is important for the continued promotion of action to ensure a safe and resilient future for the Americas and the Caribbean region as we review the progress on implementing the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and highlight the importance of building resilient economies and increasing the vision of risk-informed development in the region.” On July 10, Mr. Desmond McKenzie, Minister of Local Government & Community Development will host the launch ceremony of the official website for the VII Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in the Americas and the Caribbean 2020 with the participation as guest speaker of the Nigel Clarke, Minister of Finance and Public Service.
05/07/2019
By Andrew Bower and Nicholas RamosBRUSSELS, 4 July 2019 - The UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), the European Centre of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats (Hybrid CoE) and the Ministry of the Interior for Finland have joined together to develop a new stress test tool that will help countries understand and improve their ability to reduce risk of hybrid threats and cascading disaster scenarios.  Recent events – such as cyberattacks cascading into health systems and compromising patient lives through attacks on healthcare monitoring devices have made it clear just how important it is to confront this new reality of hybrid risks, and the need for new tools and approaches to reduce disaster loss. This was highlighted in the recently released Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction, GAR2019. Hybrid risks can occur in combination with many man-made threats, including chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear, interacting in an environment of extreme weather and climate events.     The stress test tool being developed by UNDRR in collaboration with Finland and Hybrid CoE would aim to measure the current capability of disaster risk reduction systems to reduce complex risk scenarios and recommend improvements and risk reduction approaches that could counteract these interacting threats. The 2019 United Nations Global Assessment Report, released at the 6th Session of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction, recognizes this emerging hybrid risk landscape and highlights the “need to understand how to deal with it without resorting to reductive measures that isolate and ignore the systemic nature of risk”. According to the European Council conclusions of 20 June, increasing focus on hybrid threats need to “ensure a coordinated response to hybrid and cyber threats and strengthen its cooperation with relevant international actors”.  EU Member States have reiterated support for “more cooperation, more coordination, more resources and more technological capacities” to counter hybrid threats. These efforts coincide with Finland’s Presidency of the Council of the EU, which will provide positive momentum in strengthening the DRR agenda across the European Union. 
25/06/2019
By Yuki MatsuokaKobe, 25 June 2019 – The Sendai Framework Voluntary Commitment (SFVC) first Synthesis and Analysis Report was launched in Geneva during the recent Global Platform. Voluntary Commitments (VCs) are made by multiple stakeholders (private sector, local governments, civil society organizations, academia, media, etc.) in support of the implementation of the Sendai Framework, the global roadmap for reducing disaster loses by 2030. During the launch, three selected stakeholders had the opportunity to share their experiences; Lily Kusumowardoyo, Disability –Inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction Network (DiDRRN); Alessandro Attolico, Province of Potenza; and Veronica Ruiz, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Ms. Kusumowardoyo highlighted that the public learn “not only about our commitment to support Sendai Framework but also how we plan to deliver our promises and when … it helps us to be more accountable in translating our commitment into real actions.” “We can learn about what others are doing to support the implementation of Sendai Framework, which in turn, facilitate collaborations across wider stakeholders,” said Ms. Kusumowardoyo. In addition, the presenters recognized the responsiveness and human touch of the team behind the platform while encouraging others to make their commitments. The report presents a synthesis and analysis of why voluntary commitments are important, the characteristics of the commitment and their contribution to implementing the Sendai Framework. The main results suggest that VCs have an average duration of 6.5 years, the scope of their activities is predominantly at the national or local levels (58 percent) and are concentrated mainly in the Asia region (55 percent). The majority of stakeholders that actively submit commitments are NGOs (56 percent) followed by academia and the private sector. More details about specific contributions to Sendai Framework Priorities for Action, Targets, Indicators, themes, hazards and the Global Goals are also provided. Based on this information and a particular focus on Target (e) of the Sendai Framework, the report shares good practices working to: strengthen governance in local governments through evidenced-based and inclusive policy-making; reassess and monitor resilience in a network of municipalities; and incorporate the voices of older people into the design of public policy. Last, the report identifies challenges and next steps. The platform is always open for submission. Mami Mizutori, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction, stated in the report: “I wish to encourage all stakeholders who have been making efforts for disaster risk reduction to utilize the online platform to inform the public about your actions and achievements for resilient societies and our shared future.” In addition to the launching of the report, two Learning Lab sessions were available during the GP2019 where stakeholders could learn how to interact with the SFVC online platform. To receive training or more information, please contact us at unisdr-sendai-vc@un.org.
29/05/2019
JAKARTA, 29 May 2019 – Following the deaths or disappearances of over 4,600 people last year in 2,426 recorded disaster events, Indonesia is stepping up efforts to improve disaster risk management.  Indonesia straddles the so-called “Ring of Fire” in the Pacific Ocean making it vulnerable to earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions. The country's National Agency for Disaster Management (BNPB) today signed an agreement with the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) intended to strengthen its overall disaster risk management in order to reduce loss of life and economic losses from future events. “UNDRR is committed to doing what it can to support you every step of the way, and this Joint Declaration we are signing today is a manifestation of this commitment,” said Ms. Mami Mizutori, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) and Head of UNDRR, who travelled to Jakarta for the occasion. The Joint Declaration covers capacity building to support the development of national and local strategies for disaster risk reduction, advancing research, science and technology, as well as jointly promoting regional and international cooperation. These are all key to the successful implementation of the global plan to reduce disaster losses, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030. “We learned from the earthquake, tsunami and liquefaction disasters that occurred in 2018 that disaster preparedness alone is not enough. We need to approach this comprehensively from the aspects of spatial planning, environmental aspects, and aspects of infrastructure,” said Lieutenant General Doni Monardo, Head of BPNP who signed the declaration on behalf of the Government of the Republic of Indonesia. The signing occurred on the occasion of a national Consultative Workshop on Strengthening Disaster Risk Reduction and Early Warning in Indonesia which is part of Indonesia’s plan to mainstream disaster risk management into national development policies over the next 5 to 25 years. With the participation of various Indonesian ministries and UN agencies, the workshop reviewed the growing and emerging disaster risks in Indonesia and the ongoing and planned efforts to address them. Participants shared lessons from recent disasters, in particular, the Palu-Donggala earthquake and tsunami, and how those lessons will be applied to improving Indonesia’s end-to-end multi-hazard early warning systems.  A key focus will be on improving early warnings, early action and self-evacuation at the local level.
17/05/2019
By Jovana MiocinovicGENEVA, 17 May, 2019 - “If investors do not address disaster risk properly, their business performance will be directly affected,” stressed Sandra Wu, Board Member of UN Global Compact. “They have to understand that if they do not incorporate risk-informed investments, they will lose their business.” This is the main message of the very well-attended third High-Level Dialogue held at the Global Platform 2019, which focused on risk-informed public and private investments.    Participants called for a balance between the hard-nosed pursuit of business opportunities and social responsibility, and deliberated on how to make speculative development less profitable and make long-term resilient development more profitable.  One way of dealing with this crucial question is to look at market behaviour, which unlike hazard is predictable. It is driven by profit-making.  It was argued that most destruction occurs in the residential and light commercial segment of our communities because much development is built on a short-term basis and built vulnerably on purpose to be sold off quickly.  This trend could be reversed by strengthening the enforceability of existing laws and building codes, and by raising awareness about disaster risk and its cost among citizens, government officials and investors alike.  Hans T. Sy, Chairman of the Executive Committee of SM Prime Holdings Inc., one of the largest property developers in South East Asia, asserted that risk-informed investment makes good business sense.  Given his country’s high exposure to disasters, 10 per cent of his company’s total investment goes into resilience investment.  “We have to find ways to strengthen public financing capacity,” said Isidoro Santana, Minister of Economy, Planning and Development of Dominican Republic, speaking of the ways to boost long-term resilient development in Latin America and the Caribbean where many countries faced infrastructure difficulties.  These countries formed the Latin American Climate Action Network and the Latin American Network for Public Finances in order to coordinate, share experiences and best practices, and look into public planning investment systems in line with the principles of resilience.    Contributing to risk-informed public and private investments are space technologies, as pointed out by Hiroshi Yamakawa, President of Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).  “Close collaboration between space agencies and disaster management users is crucial,” he noted.  Satellite images provide 24/7 information on wide geographical areas and thus supply data to be used by disaster managers to plan evacuation, rescue and support activities.  “Risk losses money at the end of the day,” said July Moyo, Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing of Zimbabwe, when speaking about ways to motivate businesses to make risk-informed investments during the working session on resilience dividend, which followed the high-level dialogue.    “If we don’t get into action, we won’t have a planet to live on,” warned Shaun Tarbuck, CEO of International Mutual Insurance Association, whereas Bärbel Kofler, Federal Government Commissioner for Humanitarian Assistance and Human Rights Policy of Germany noted that “unlocking the resilience dividend is truly in everyone’s interest.”    
17/05/2019
By Denis McCleanGENEVA, 17 May 2019 - The prestigious RISK Award went today to a project which pioneers floating houses in Bangladesh; houses so designed that a family of six can survive floods and still produce their own food including vegetables, chickens and fish. The €100,000 prize sponsored by the Munich Re Foundation was accepted by Nandan Mukherjee on behalf of  Dundee University, Scotland, and Resilience Solution, Bangladesh. The organizers, the Munich Re Foundation, Global Risk Forum (GRF) Davos, and the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction received 109 applications from 48 countries in response to a call for applications focussed on coastal resilience in face of climate and environmental changes. In his acceptance speech, Mr. Mukherjee said the idea of disaster resilient homes was promped by a story he heard from a woman who lost a child in a flood and was then abandoned by her husband. “She blames herself every single day, and she told me that she will never take another child or try for a family again in her life because she is unable to safeguard poor lives,” he said. Mr. Mukherjee continued: “The area was protected by flood embankments and people living inside the area did not anticipate flooding, therefore they were living in a false sense of security that they are protected from flood. However, the reality was something else. They didn’t go to the emergency ‘safe’ shelter, because ‘safe’ shelters are not as safe as it sounds. “Numerous literatures document the occurrences of rape, child abuse, inadequate space, poor water supply and sanitation access, inadequate food in the shelters. Most importantly, there is no provision for continuing the daily livelihood in the safe shelters.” So the idea of a disaster resilient home was born and the prize money will be used to help bring the project to scale in the flood prone river basins and deltas  of Bangladesh. Mr. Mukherjee explained: “A truly disaster resilient home needs the following: it needs to robust enough to float above the flood water, providing safety. It needs to generate enough food with proper nutritional balance. It needs access to water, electricity and all other basic amenities. “The outside walls of the house can be used for vertical gardens, we can harvest rainwater for self-sufficiency in drinking water, we can utilise renewable energy solutions for electricity, and further utilise modern technologies like aquaponics and poultry rearing for livelihood and waste recycling.” The award was presented by the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction, Mami Mizutori, who said: “This week at the sixth Global Platform we have heard time and again about the benefit of investing before a disaster strikes, rather than responding to its effects. This is a great example of the kind of investment that the world needs.” On behalf of the Munich Re Foundation, chairman Thomas Loster, congratulated the winner and noted that “Around 40% of the world’s population live in coastal areas less than 100 kms from the sea. There are lots of challenges including rising sea levels, heavy rainfall, intense storms so the RISK Award is very pleased to encourage innovations such as these floating homes which can be replicated in many parts of the world.”
17/05/2019
By Denis McCleanGENEVA , 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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