The Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction is expecting heads of State and government representatives from over 170 countries. (Photo: Vincent Fung)
13 March 2015, SENDAI
– The world gathers this weekend in Sendai, Japan, for the third time in 21 years to agree on a new framework for managing disaster risk which will reduce mortality and economic losses.
Since the last such conference in Kobe, Japan, in January 2005, at least 700,000 people have died, 1.7 billion people have been affected and there have been $1.4 trillion in economic losses from major reported disaster events. The very first conference took place in Yokohama in 1994.
The Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction will open tomorrow, in the presence of their Majesties, the Emperor and Empress of Japan, the UN Secretary-General, heads of State and government representatives from over 170 countries.
Prior to the opening, government representatives met today in the Third Session of the Conference’s Preparatory Committee to discuss the text of the post-2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction which will be adopted on March 18, the closing day of the conference.
Margareta Wahlström, head of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, said today: “After three years of consultation on a post-2015 framework which updates the current Hyogo Framework for Action, there is general agreement that we must move from managing disasters to managing disaster risk.
“If the world is successful in tackling the underlying drivers of risk such as poverty, climate change, the decline of protective eco-systems, uncontrolled urbanization and land use the result will be a much more resilient planet. The framework will help to reducing existing levels of risk and avoid the creation of new risk.”