The 2nd Arab Partnership Meeting for Disaster Risk Reduction will be held in Beirut on 17-18 December 2018. The two-day meeting will focus on strengthening stakeholder groups engagement (Day1) and consultation on the development of the Regional Assessment Report (Day 2).
The Africa-Arab Platform on DRR brought together over 900 participants from more than 60 countries (both Africa and Arab regions), representing national and local governments, international NGOs, UN agencies, the private sector and other stakeholders including academia, media, and civil society organization such as children, youth, women, elderly, and people with disabilities. The platform provided a space for governments and stakeholders to review progress in implementing the Sendai Framework for DRR and agree on concrete steps to deliver on commitments to the implementation of Sendai Framework in Africa and the Arab region.
As an outcome for the Arab States, the Tunis Declaration for Disaster Risk Reduction in Arab States was adopted by all ministers, heads of delegations, partners and stakeholders through a drafting committee led by the Government of Tunisia. The declaration, underlined the shift from managing disasters to managing disaster risk, stressing the need to integrate DRR in sustainable development and climate change policies at national level. It also called for the prioritization of the development of national and local DRR strategies, national loss databases and Sendai Framework monitoring and reporting. The Platform further, embraced the Prioritized Plan of Action (2018-2020), which was developed based on the Arab Strategy for DRR and its Programme of Work, as a reference document for countries and partners. This plan of action intends to provide a sense of priority actions for countries in the span of the next two years.
The conference also called for enhanced an all-of-society engagement in DRR and the increased participation of women and youth in the leadership, design and implementation of disaster risk reduction policies. As an outcome, five stakeholder groups delivered their Voluntary Action Statements in support of the implementation of the Sendai Framework and the Arab Strategy for DRR; namely: Arab Science and Technology Advisory Group, Arab DRR Children & Youth Group, Arab DRR Civil Society Group; Arab Gender Equality and Women Empowerment Group, and Arab Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies.
In addition, member states and stakeholders called upon the UNISDR Regional Office for Arab States - to strengthen coordination among disaster risk reduction communities in order to achieve alignment with Agenda 2030, the Paris Climate Change Agreement and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 to ensure effective integration of disaster risk reduction into sustainable development.
Following the Sendai Framework guidance, the 1st Arab Partnership Meeting for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) was held on 22-23 April 2018 in Cairo, Egypt, with the aim to strengthen partnerships with and among key stakeholders and promote an all-of-society approach to DRR in the region. The meeting brought together over 30 representatives from a wide range of stakeholder groups including members of civil society organizations (working with women, youth, disabilities and elderly), academia, NGOs, and UN agencies. The outcome of the meeting formed a number of stakeholder groups who were voluntarily willing to provide an action statement in the Africa Arab Platform on DRR. All participants agreed on establishing an engagement strategy that will guide them in contributing towards the implementation of the Arab Strategy for DRR, the Africa-Arab Platform on DRR (Tunisia, October 9-13, 2018), as well as the proposed Regional Assessment Report (RAR).
As a follow up to the 1st Arab Partnership meeting and the Africa Arab Platform for Disaster Risk reduction, the 2nd Arab Partnership Meeting for Disaster Risk Reduction will provide an opportunity for all stakeholder groups to move a step further from their Voluntary Action Statements to a concrete work plan that will enable them to implement the voluntary action statements. The forum will also provide an occasion to discuss the way forward in moving the Tunis Declaration, the prioritized action plan for 2018-2020 and the stakeholder action statements ahead.
The Regional Assessment Report for Disaster Risk Reduction
The need for an Arab Regional Assessment Report was established in the 1st Arab Partnership meeting as well as followed up with a discussion during the Africa Arab Platform for DRR. The Regional Assessment Report for Disaster Risk Reduction is an initiative led by UNISDR-Regional Office for Arab states with a number of partners from the region. The main aim of the report will be to provide an evidence base for the region in understanding the regional dimension of risk; a stock of what is being done in the region towards reducing these risks; analyses of key drivers of risks through sectoral lenses; and the way forward for managing and preventing new risks towards protecting the sustainable development in the region.
Buffeted by a succession of inter-related crisis, in many risk prone Arab countries risk reduction is still not a national development priority due to conflict & other competing issues. The Report will be an attempt to communicate the impact of disasters and rapidly increasing vulnerability and exposure in the Arab region which is making the population more susceptible to suffer from small and medium scale external socks. It will establish the necessary linkages towards addressing the challenges of disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation within a broad framework of sustainable development and poverty reduction.
The initial concept for Regional Assessment Report for Arab States was introduced during in the 1st Arab partnership meeting for DRR in April 2018. Number of organizations expressed their interest in contributing to the report. As a follow up, UNISDR formally launched the process for development of RAR during the Africa-Arab Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction. (The session summary & draft zero concept note is enclosed for information).
The 2nd day of this partnership meeting will be dedicated to further scope out the regional assessment report content; invite additional engagement of partners and stakeholders; establish an editorial committee/ advisory group; and develop a timeline based work plan for development of the report.
The key objectives of this partnership meeting will be to:
- Develop a work plan (by each stakeholder groups) and agree on a way forward in implementing the stakeholders voluntary action statements.
- Agree on a plan for following up on the Tunis Declaration for Arab States and the prioritized Action Plan for 2018-2020.
- Agree on the content, editorial committee/ advisory group and a timeline based plan towards development of the Regional Assessment Report for DRR.