The second Preparatory Committee meeting for the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction opened in Geneva today. (Photo: UNISDR)
GENEVA, 17 November 2014 — Over 150 UN Member States are expected in Geneva today to negotiate the text of a new agreement on disaster and climate risk management almost ten years after the first such agreement was adopted following the Indian Ocean tsunami which claimed over 220,000 lives.
The Hyogo Framework for Action (2005-2015) – Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disasters has been under revision for over two years based on the experience of trying to reduce disaster losses over the last ten years.
The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction and Head of UNISDR, Margareta Wahlström, today said: “The world is struggling to cope with existing levels of exposure and vulnerability to disasters. Despite much success in spreading a culture of disaster risk reduction around the world, conservative estimates are that at least two billion people were affected by disasters over the last ten years and over one million died. Alongside that, economic losses since 2000 are in the range of $2 trillion.
“These numbers will rise dramatically if there is no clear agreement on how to reduce existing levels of risk and to avoid the creation of new risk in the future. The revised Hyogo Framework will be our guide for the next twenty years and will complement and support new agreements on sustainable development and climate while will also be put in place next year.”
The revised Hyogo Framework for Action will be adopted at the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction which will convene in Sendai, Japan, from March 14 to 18, 2015.
The Second Preparatory Committee for the World Conference is meeting today and tomorrow to negotiate the text under co-Chairs, Ambassador Päivi Kairamo of Finland and Ambassador Thanio Thongphakdi of Thailand. Over 1,300 people including representatives from NGOs and civil society have registered to attend.