New UNISDR Champion appointed at West African Parliamentarian Meeting on DRR
Dakar, Senegal - Parliamentarians from Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, the Gambia, Côte d'Ivoire, Mali, Togo, Kenya and Senegal, gathered for a ‘Consultative Meeting for West African Parliamentarians on Disaster Risk Reduction: An Instrument for Achieving Millennium Development Goals by 2015’ from 1-2 June 2010.
The Chair of the Parliamentarian Network on Disaster Risk Reduction at the National Assembly of Senegal, MP Abdou Sane, was appointed UNISDR’s Champion for Disaster Risk Reduction in West Africa. An active supporter of the cause, Mr Abdou Sane advocates for the integration of disaster risk reduction in national budgets and promotes the implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action at all levels, such as among the African Group at the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference.
The parliamentarians’ overall goal was to make Disaster Risk Reduction a priority at both the national and local levels, in order to increase their people's resilience to disasters and to support economic development in their respective countries. In West Africa, disasters and climate change have made it especially hard to achieve the global pro-poor initiative the Millennium Development Goals by 2015 – the highest pro-poor commitment made by 189 Heads of State in 2000 at the Summit of United Nations in New York.
During the meeting, the parliamentarians examined the impact of disasters on each of the Millennium Development Goals in West Africa, in the context of global trends, progress and the worldwide challenges of disaster risk reduction.
In order to promote initiatives resilient to disasters and climate change which impact the Millennium Development Goals, they assessed what needs to be done in their respective countries. Importantly, they also discussed what actions parliamentarians should take to exercise their oversight roles and responsibilities for achieving disaster-resilient Millennium Development Goals.
In their Plan for Action the parliamentarians agreed to build national networks of parliamentarians on disaster risk reduction, review relevant laws, address gender and risk concerns. Furthermore, they want to ensure disaster-resilient water and sanitation infrastructure as well as safe hospitals and schools are built by means of partnership-building and knowledge transfer. The meeting was jointly organized by the National Assembly of Senegal and UNISDR.