Geneva, 3 June – Half of humanity is now living in cities - commitment to resilience is urgently needed particularly in vulnerable groups, localities, and regions. This message comes from the Chair of the Third Session of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction, Ms. Asha-Rose Migiro, the United Nations Deputy Secretary-General in her final summary and observations released this week.
"The choice before us as Governments, institutions, communities and individuals is to place disaster risk reduction at the forefront of our efforts to preserve and protect the balance of nature, ensure sustainable development and well-being for generations to come," said Ms. Migiro in the four-page Chair's Summary.
This comes at a time when the world gears up to celebrate World Environment Day (WED) on June 5th, an annual event that celebrates positive environmental action, with this year's theme being Forests: Nature at your service. Forests cover one third of the earth’s land mass, performing vital functions and services around the world and play a key role in battling climate change and reducing risk to disasters.
In the Chair's Summary, more action needed to be taken to reduce disaster risk including supporting local governments, building on the role of women as agents of change, involving children and youth in decisions that affect their future, and fully engaging the private sector as leaders in the construction of resilient infrastructure and systems for sustainable development.
The Deputy Secretary-General also identified fifteen critical steps needed including developing standards and indicators for measuring the effectiveness of disaster risk reduction, increasing dedicated budgeting for DRR, and strengthening public awareness of disaster risks.
"Well-planned and coordinated recovery achieves better results at lower cost, and support sustainability and disaster-resilience. Leadership, partnership and coordinated support from the international community are essential to success," said Ms. Migiro in her summary which also recognized the World Reconstruction Conference, one of the key components of this year’s Global Platform.
The Chair's Summary will be translated in the six official UN languages, as well as videos of all recorded sessions will be available on the Global Platform website in the coming days. The Proceedings of the Third Session of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction will reflect the discussions and outcomes from the main sessions in more detail and will be available in late June.
The final document includes comments and suggestions made during a 10-day period from 13-23 May where the disaster reduction community could openly provide their input.