Ms. Margareta Wahlström (centre), former head of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), receives from Philippines Senate President Franklin Drilon the Senate Resolution authored by Senator Loren Legarda, UNISDR Global Champion for Resilience. Also pictured are Secretary Emmanuel de Guzman (first left), Vice Chairperson of the Climate Change Commission, and San Francisco, Camotes Island Councilor Al Arquillano Jr. (first right), UNISDR Asia Pacific Regional Champion for making cities resilient (Photo: Office of Senator Legarda)
19 January 2016, GENEVA – In an exceptional move, the Philippine Congress today passed a resolution recognising and commending the former head of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), Ms. Margareta Wahlström, for her outstanding work on advocacy for disaster risk reduction over the last seven years.
Dr. Robert Glasser, the new head of UNISDR, said: “Nobody deserves this honour more. Margareta Wahlström has been at the forefront of advocacy for reducing disaster risk and encouraging the concrete initiatives which the Philippine Government has been undertaking in recent years to reduce disaster losses through measures such as improved early warnings and spreading a culture of disaster risk awareness among the general population.”
The resolution, introduced by Senator Loren Legarda, recognises and commends Ms. Wahlström “for her invaluable role in mainstreaming disaster risk reduction in international development frameworks and supporting the implementation of key disaster risk reduction and management programs in the Philippines.”
The resolution cites Ms. Wahlström’s support for the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, parliamentarian champions of disaster risk reduction, and the Climate Change Act of 2009 and the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction Management Act of 2010 which she has often cited as model pieces of legislation.
Ms. Wahlström was also lauded for the engagement of more than 170 Philippine provinces, cities and municipalities in UNISDR’s Making Cities Resilient Campaign; mobilising the private sector; and engaging with the Department of Education and local governments on safe schools and hospitals.