The Union Home Affairs Minister of the Government of India, Mr Rajnath Singh, told today's Asian Leaders Meeting in Delhi that the Sendai Framework is a 'unique opportunity.' (Photo: UNISDR)
By Andy McElroy
DELHI, 17 November 2015
- The Government of India today hailed the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction as a "unique opportunity" to move from a relief-centred approach to disasters to one that focuses on reducing and preventing disaster risk.
The Union Home Affairs Minister, Mr Rajnath Singh, said the Sendai Framework's “people-centred and preventative” focus was a big step forward in efforts to address man-made and natural hazards.
Minister Singh told the Asia Leaders' Meeting at the start of the ISDR Asia Partnership (IAP) Forum that India would remain committed to disaster risk reduction at a national and regional level.
The Minister recalled: "At the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction held in Sendai, Japan, earlier this year, our nations committed to uphold a 15-year plan of action with defined global targets and priorities for action under the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction."
"The ISDR Asia Partnership forum is a vital space for our governments to collectively reflect and share experiences on best practices and innovative solutions to implement disaster risk reduction effectively at national and local levels across the Asia region.
"As partners, we can use this platform to collaborate on responsibilities and make actionable commitments towards implementation of our shared goal of disaster risk reduction.
"This meeting is, thus, an important step towards reinforcing our commitment to implement the Sendai Framework for disaster risk reduction in Asia and taking forward the international community’s efforts towards reducing the impact of natural disasters and creating risk resilient communities and nations, for truly sustainable development.
"We would also like to call upon all entities, public and private, to strengthen the international support mechanisms for disaster risk reduction by sharing of reliable and affordable modern technology for capacity-building and enabling institutional and policy environment at all levels.
"I am positive that the outcome of this meeting will set the policy direction for the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction in Asia and yield useful inputs for the upcoming Asia Ministerial Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction in 2016.” The next Asia Ministerial Conference will be held in India.
The Minister of State for Home Affairs, Mr. Kiren Rijiju - the Deputy to H.E. Minister Singh - chaired the high level forum as it considered an Asian Regional Plan to implement the Sendai Framework, with the aim of it being adopted at the Ministerial Conference in a year's time.
The head of UNISDR and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction, Ms Margareta Wahlström, welcomed the strong leadership of India in supporting regional implementation of the Sendai Framework.
"Your consideration of an Asian Regional Plan to implement the Sendai Framework will further consolidate political commitment and inspire more effective action at all levels and across all sectors," Ms. Wahlström said.
"This meeting will be an important springboard towards the first Asia Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction of the Sendai Framework era, to be hosted by the Government of India, in a year's time, here in New Delhi."
Ms. Wahlström recounted a brief history of the Asia Ministerial Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR) and how each of the previous meetings had focused on what have become keystone elements of the Sendai Framework.
In order, these are: First AMCDRR, China 2005 (monitoring to strengthen implementation); India 2007 (regional cooperation and partnership for DRR); Malaysia 2008 (multi-stakeholder partnership for DRR, in particular public-private partnership); Republic of Korea 2010 (DRR through climate change adaptation); Indonesia 2012 (strengthening local capacity for DRR); and Thailand 2014 (Promoting investments for resilient nations and communities)
Among the high level officials present was the Deputy Prime Minister of Mongolia, Mr Tserendash Oyunbaatar, whose country is set to host the Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in 2018.
Other high level representatives in attendance, included: Vice Minister of the Ministry of Civil Affairs of China, Mr Zou Ming; State Minister of the Cabinet Office of Japan, Mr Fumiaki Matsumoto; State Minister for Disaster Management Affairs of Afghanistan, Mr Wais Ahmad Barmak; Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Interior of Thailand, Mr Chayabol Thitisak; Deputy Chief of Indonesia's Disaster Management Agency (BNPB), Mr Bernarbus Wisnu Wisjaja; and Mr Ahn Young Kyoo, Representative, Republic of Korea.
The Asian Leaders' Meeting was the curtain-raiser for the 2nd ISDR Asia Partnership meeting of 2015. More than 100 DRR policymakers and practitioners from various sectors are meeting over the next three days to provide their input into the proposed Asian Regional Plan for Implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030.
As part of its preparations to host the Ministerial Conference in November 2016, the Government of India today launched the official website for the Conference.