130th IPU Assembly debate this week on risk resilient development and disaster risk reduction
Geneva, 21 March 2014
– The 130th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union has concluded by urging its 164 member Parliaments to enhance their oversight role in reducing the impact and risk of disasters and “to take immediate action to review existing legislation related to disaster risk reduction.” The Assembly adopted a resolution on risk resilient development which stresses that “reducing disaster risk and protecting people’s lives are the legal responsibility of all public representatives.”
UNISDR chief Margareta Wahlström strongly welcomed the resolution. She said: “The content and timing of this resolution will encourage governments to step up their engagement in consultations on a new global agreement on disaster risk reduction and to participate fully in the 2015 World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction which will adopt the agreement. Parliamentarians have an unique platform for encouraging political commitment to reducing loss of life and economic losses from disasters.”
Over 700 parliamentarians from 140 countries passed the resolution yesterday afternoon which was first mooted by Saber Chowdhury, a Bangladesh MP and UNISDR Champion, and also taken up by his co-Rapporteur, Philippe Mahoux, a Belgian parliamentarian.
The Resolution on Risk-Resilient Development contains 28 recommendations and urges governments to participate actively in the ongoing consultations on the post-2015 development agenda and the post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction in order to gain information, knowledge and technical support for the development of a national post-2015 disaster risk-resilient development agenda.” It also stresses the importance of an ambitious global agreement on climate change that has legal force.
Mr. Chowdhury spoke on behalf of the Resolution and recalled that between the period 200-2012 disaster killed 1.2 million people, affected 2.9 billion and caused economic losses of approximately $1.7 trillion. He said: “The resolution will raise awareness about the need to build resilience to disasters through the integration of disaster risk reduction into overall development planning, policy and programmes. The resolution also emphasizes the links between population issues, disasters and climate change.”