GENEVA, 14 May 2013 - UNISDR Chief, Margareta Wahlström, today welcomed yesterday's inauguration by the Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh, of the country's National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction which brings to 86, the number of such platforms around the world. These National Platforms provide important support to the implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action, the global agreement on reducing disaster losses.
Ms. Wahlström said: "The creation of this National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction is the culmination of many years work at both central and local levels. Its establishment sends a clear sign of leadership and willingness to ensure that strong measures are taken to prevent and reduce disaster risk."
Dr. Singh said the inauguration was the fulfilment of its commitments to strengthen its partnership with the International Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction.
He said: "Disaster management is an area of vital national importance to our country. As we all know, India is vulnerable to a large range of natural and man-made disasters. Events like earthquakes, floods, droughts, cyclones, landslides and industrial accidents have been a cause of great misery and suffering in our country. In recent years, climate change has posed fresh new challenges that our disaster management strategies should be able to cope with. We must therefore ensure that disaster preparedness and development of adequate disaster response mechanisms receive priority attention."
The Prime Minister also said: "The theme of today's conference is about making risk reduction an intrinsic part of our development processes by including prevention and mitigation strategies in them. This is indeed a very prudent course of action and would avoid possible losses that could be devastating in nature and could cause significant setbacks to the development of a State or a region."
He said he was "confident that the Platform will emerge as a very useful forum for exchange of ideas and experiences and will be a great help to our country in building systems for preventing disasters and dealing with their fall-out."