Mongolia opens Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction
3 July, 2018, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia: The Government of Mongolia today opened the three-day Asian Ministerial Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction which is being attended by 2,500 participants, including representatives from over 50 countries and 1,500 organizations in the capital, Ulaanbaatar.
Prime Minister Khurelsukh Ukhnaa, urged participants to use the three days to review challenges in the region on reducing disaster losses through increasing action at the local level in the world’s most disaster-prone region which saw over eleven million people displaced by disasters last year, notably in east and south Asia and the Pacific islands.
In 2017, more than 6,500 people lost their lives in Asia following more than 200 disasters that affected 66.7 million people. Over the last 50 years the region has suffered nearly $1.3 trillion in economic losses to disasters.
Deputy Prime Minister, Enkhtuvshin Ulziisaikhan, declared the Conference open and urged a strong focus on disaster-resilient infrastructure in national plans to implement the global plan for reducing disaster losses, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, adopted by UN member States in 2015.
“This conference is about reducing and mitigating the risk of disasters and aligning risk reduction activities with the Sustainable Development Goals. We will take stock of the progress achieved in implementing the Sendai Framework at the regional and national levels, as well as discuss and adopt the Action Plan for the Asian Region in 2018-2020, and the Ulaanbaatar Declaration on Disaster Risk Reduction,” Mr. Enkhtuvshin said.
The UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction, Mami Mizutori, said: “Strong political leadership has meant that most countries have embraced the spirit of the Sendai Framework and are acting to put that spirit to work in meaningful ways that will translate into fewer lives torn apart by disaster losses and a deeper understanding of the actions which ordinary citizens can take to ensure their safety.”
In her keynote speech, Ms. Mizutori said: “Mongolia itself is vulnerable to a range of natural hazards including drought, floods earthquakes and forest fires. The government has shown great leadership on disaster risk reduction in the Asia Pacific region”.
In 2017, as the then Deputy Prime Minister of Mongolia, Mr. Khurelsukh was recognized as a UNISDR Asian Champion for Disaster Risk Reduction. Mongolia was also the first country in Asia Pacific to fully commit all its municipalities to UNISDR’s Making Cities Resilient Campaign which aims to help cities and local governments prepare for, and reduce risks and become resilient to disasters.
The Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction will conclude on Friday.
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