At the close today of the First Preparatory Committee Meeting for the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction: (left to right) Head of UNISDR, Margareta Wahlström, Committee co-Chairs Ambassador, Päivi Kairamo, Finland and Ambassador Thani Thongphakdi, Thailand.
GENEVA - July 15, 2014 - More than 600 government representatives and experts today concluded the First Session of the Intergovernmental Preparatory Committee for the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in 2015, with broadly converging views on how to address the threats posed by disasters and climate change.
Co-Chair, Ambassador Päivi Kairamo, from Finland, said: “Our preparatory work is on track. Everyone showed immense focus during our short time together. We agreed to a provisional agenda for the World Conference which will adopt, as its outcome, a post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction.”
Ambassador Kairamo added: “I heard many references to local, national and regional outcomes. This gives me confidence that, as a Preparatory Committee, we are being faithful to what people want on the ground, and that we will deliver a post-2015 framework that will meet the world’s expectations.”
Over the next few months, she said, “my co-Chair and I will take the views expressed during the past two days and begin to shape a pre-zero draft that wil be the basis of our work leading up to Sendai. We look forward to working with you on the post-2015 framework that will set the tone for common action in the years to come.” The World Conference will be held in Sendai, Japan, from March 14-18, 2015.
Fellow co-Chair, Ambassador , Thani Thongphakdi, from Thailand, said: “Part of our task as co-Chairs is to listen to the views expressed by States and bring those together with what other stakeholders point out as missing or require highlighting. This was among the reasons why the co-Chairs held three dialogues with major groups in the past two days.”
Major Groups speaking at the two-day Preparatory Committee meeting were: local authorities, the private sector, farmers, trade unions, youth and children, women’s groups and indigenous peoples who all made detailed statements on their experiences of implementing the current global agreement on disaster risk reduction, the Hyogo Framework for Action, and their recommendations for the Post-2015 framework.
Ambassador Thongphakdi concluded: “We must not forget that the post-2015 framework needs to be relevant to everyday concerns, such as access to food, water, a place to live, education and good health. For this reason it is important to ensure coherence with other international frameworks and agendas.”
Margareta Wahlström, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction, said she was “encouraged by the substantive discussions, the clear guidance given, the converging inputs on what the post-2015 framework should contain, recognising that in some areas diverging views have been expressed. The work of the coming months will be to find common ground on these matters.”
The Second Session of the Intergovernmental Preparatory Committee will take place November 17 and 18 and will consider the zero draft text of the post-2015 framework. It is the culmination of a process started two years ago that has involved over 150 consultations worldwide.
While acknowledging the success of the Hyogo framework, meeting participants emphasised that achieving its objectives fully, remained a work in progress that will continue under the post-2015 global agreement to be adopted at the Sendai conference.
During the closing session participants representing UN members States, Non-member States NGOs, intergovernmental organisations, UN agencies, and civil society organisations outlined their vision for a world made safer from disasters and the adverse impacts on climate change.
In building on the foundations laid by the Hyogo frameworks, participants were generally agreed on the need to focus more on preventing the creation of new risk while continuing to reduce existing risk; reducing vulnerability and exposure; engaging the whole of society and promoting equality, inclusion and non-discriminatory participation; and developing more effective financing mechanisms in both the public and private sectors for managing risk.
Speakers highlighted the need for synergies across the three key post-2015 frameworks (the post-2015 framework on disaster risk reduction; the sustainable development goals and a renewed agreement on climate change) to ensure coherence in policies and approaches. They also stressed the importance of engaging all State institutions; empowering local communities and authorities in managing disaster risk and contributing to the definition of national policies and plans; and more clearly defining responsibilities across public and private actors.