UNISDR head, Mami Mizutori, speaking today at the closing ceremony of the Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction
6 July, 2018, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia: The Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction closed today withparticipating governments issuing the Ulaanbaatar Declaration which calls for greater accountability for disaster losses in Asia, the world’s most disaster-prone region.
The Ulaanbaatar Declaration was adopted, and a two-year Action Plan agreed, to accelerate implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction in Asia. The Sendai Framework is the global plan adopted by UN member states in 2015 to reduce disaster losses.
The three-day Conference attracted 3,500 people to the Mongolian capital from over 1,500 organizations including representatives from more than 50 countries.
At the opening, the Prime Minister of Mongolia, Khurelsukh Ukhnaa, issued a powerful call for the countries of the region to work together to reduce disaster losses. “The pursuit of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction is a clear necessity for this region,” he said.
Outlining preconditions for sustainable development he identified the importance of information and knowledge sharing, including disaster risk reduction in education up to third level, resilient agriculture, business continuity and the creation of financial mechanisms to invest in disaster resilience.
Mongolia chaired an Asian Leaders Meeting which included high-level government representatives from Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea and Malaysia, the host countries for Asian Ministerial Conferences. Representatives from Samoa, Russia, and Switzerland attended by special invitation.
On behalf of the Government of Mongolia, host of the Conference, Deputy Prime Minister, Enkhtuvshin Ulziisaikhan, said: “This Conference has strengthened the resolve of Asian leaders and all stakeholders to implement the global plan for reducing disaster losses, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. Our goal is to fund and increase the scope of our work in disaster prevention at local level. Mongolia highlighted two key themes, including resilient infrastructure and public-private partnerships at the Conference that raised considerable attention.”
Welcoming the Declaration, the UN Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction, Mami Mizutori, said: “Since the tragedy of the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004, Asian leaders have met every two years to discuss action on reducing disaster losses in the region. There is a realisation that further improvement is dependent on two things, action at the community level combined with strong political leadership at the national level, and improved collection of data so we can tell if we are doing a good job or not in reducing disaster losses.
“The big picture is that the region is under increasing assault from extreme weather events and climate change. Earthquakes and tsunamis threaten heavily populated areas. It is estimated that 11.4 million people were forcibly displaced from their homes by disaster events last year. It is clear that it will be hard to eradicate poverty and eliminate hunger in parts of Asia if stronger action is not taken at local level to reduce disaster risk and ensure the protection of all sections of society particularly the poor.”
At the closing ceremony today, the Australian Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Ms. Concetta Fierravanti-Wells announced that the Government of Australia will host the next Asian Ministerial Conference in Australia in 2020.
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