Speech by Robert Glasser at the Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction

Mr. Robert Glasser, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction, addresses the Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (Photo: UNISDR)


November 02-05, 2016


Opening Ceremony Remarks

Mr. Robert Glasser

Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction and head of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction


Mr. Prime Minister, Ministers, Ambassadors and distinguished delegates, it is an honour to be here today to address you at this Opening Ceremony.

This is the first Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction since the UN World Conference hosted by Japan in March last year when the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction was adopted.

The Sendai Framework emphasises the importance of moving from managing disasters to managing disaster risk if we are to achieve substantial reductions in disaster losses.  

In this region, many countries have integrated disaster risk reduction into their overall development planning and there is growing understanding of the importance of a risk sensitive approach to major infrastructure investments in both the private and public sectors.

In order to achieve a substantial reduction in disaster losses by 2030, there is a clear need to build on Asia’s success in reducing mortality from floods and storms in particular.

And as we look towards the deadline of 2020 for the delivery of a substantial increase in national and local plans for reducing disaster risk, we must embrace the other elements of the 2030 Development Agenda.

There is a clear opportunity to avoid duplication of effort by ensuring that plans for climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction complement each other and make the best use of available resources.

Success in building sustainable cities will help reduce disaster losses and Asia is already home to 53% of the world’s urban population.

Well managed, hazard-resistant cities offer great opportunities for economic development and access to basic services including health and education.

The Sendai Framework recognizes the importance of regional platforms such as this and its supporting mechanism the ISDR Asia Partnership.

This regional collaboration is vital for strengthening disaster risk governance, a key Sendai priority.

Understanding disaster risk is also vital. We need policies and practices that take account of disaster risk in all its dimensions of vulnerability, capacity, and exposure of persons and assets.

Investing in disaster risk reduction for resilience requires both private and public sector participation and engagement.

Good disaster preparedness is not just about effective response but also about ensuring that the recovery phase is well-planned and risk-aware.

In summary, these are the priorities for action of the Sendai Framework and delivering on those priorities is what has brought us here this week.

On behalf of UNISDR I would like to thank our host the Government of India for its hospitality and for making this important gathering possible.

The expected outcomes of the Conference are:  

  • An Asia Regional Plan for Implementation of the Sendai Framework,

  • A Political Declaration that reiterates the commitment of governments to disaster risk reduction; and

  • Stakeholder Action Statements containing various initiatives to reduce disaster risk

These outcomes will re-affirm the region’s leadership on disaster risk management and provide important input to the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction, which will be hosted by the Government of Mexico in May 2017.

I look forward to engaging with many of you in the coming days on this exciting agenda.

Thank you for your attention and I wish you a successful Conference.


VI Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in the Americas, Cartagena, Colombia 20-22 June 2018 VI Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in the Americas, Cartagena, Colombia 20-22 June 2018.
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