NEW YORK, 9 November 2011
– Japan is to hold an international conference to share the lessons learned from the Great East Japan Earthquake in the latter half of next year, according to a debate at the United Nations in New York on the latest report of the United Nations Secretary General on Implementation of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction.
Jun Yamazaki, Ambassador, Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations, speaking on behalf of Japan, also said that that his country has offered to host the Third World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in 2015 which will seek to agree on a successor agreement to the international blueprint on disaster risk reduction, the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005–2015: Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disasters.
Margareta Wahlström, who heads the UN Disaster Risk Reduction Office (UNISDR), introduced the latest report of the Secretary-General on Implementation of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (A/66/301 – 12 August 2011) to the Second Committee (Economic and Financial) of the UN General Assembly last week.
“As we approach 2015 and the end of this HFA what is clear is the need for any future framework on DRR to be anchored in the principles of sustainable development, and that those principles incorporate disaster and climate risk management as well as poverty and vulnerability reduction in a participatory and inclusive approach”, said Wahlström.
She also said that placing all aspirations for sustainable development within a risk framework, in preparation for the Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development, was both realistic and visionary, and made smarter and more resilient investment paramount if the goals of sustainable development were to be truly achieved.
Outlining the critical challenges ahead, she said accountability for effective DRR required strengthening which could only be achieved through better knowledge of risk.
“Most countries are not systematically accounting for losses in public assets due to disasters. Currently, 38 have national disaster loss databases and systematically record losses. National disaster loss registers, risk mapping and financial tracking systems are essential tools to support development planning and investment choices,” she said.
Wahlström also called for: a “whole-of-society approach” to disaster risk reduction, identifying communities, local governments, and the private sector as vital contributors; building institutional capacity via national platforms for DRR; and increasing both investments and investment tracking.
General Assembly President Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser reiterated that one of his priority focus areas during this 66th Assembly session would be on improving disaster prevention and response.
He said: “DRR is a key component contributing to reducing socio-economic vulnerabilities and […] an essential component of building resilience and sustainable development. We need to continue strengthening the capacity of the UN to address DRR and prevention.”