Disaster risk management is not an option, it is a global commitment that “belongs to each and every one of us,” he said Thursday at the general Assembly UN Deputy Secretary General Amina Mohammed.
During a high-level meeting on the midterm review of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reductionwhich offers Member States a series of concrete actions to protect the benefits of development against the risk of disasters, Mohammed acknowledged that progress so far “is weak and insufficient.”
“Unfortunately, as a consequence of the failure to comply with our climate commitments and the Sustainable Development Goals in general, natural hazards that could have been avoided have claimed hundreds of thousands of lives and they have forced the involuntary displacement of millions of people, mainly women, children and other vulnerable groups”, he highlighted.
A challenge that was aggravated by the appearance of the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, the loss of biodiversity and pollution, the increase in the cost of living, inequality and the effects of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
To overcome this challenge, Mohammed indicated that “integrated and intersectoral measures that cover the entire 2030 Agenda” are needed, as well as increased actions at the local, national and regional levels.
“It is essential to understand and manage catastrophe risk and address root causes and exposure factors as part of integrated risk-based approaches,” he specified.
How did we get here?
The president of the General Assembly recalled that the adoption of the Sendai Framework implied the approval of an agreement “ahead of its time” but admitted that, after eight years, “progress has not kept pace with the current urgency”.
Csaba Kőrösi stressed that the “known number” of people affected by catastrophes has multiplied by 80 since 2015 and indicated that our consumption, production, financing and planning habits “continue to be out of step with the reality that nature’s resources are finite.”
For this reason, he called for “rethinking and recalibrating” our systems, beginning by recognizing human responsibility in climate change and continuing with the disregard of the environmental and other costs that our actions entail.
“Let’s measure prosperity with a tool that enlarges the lens of GDP, one that captures the true cost of human, social, natural and built capital, the total assets of a nation. Beyond GDP, we can leave extractive and transactional behaviors behind and move towards modes of inclusion and solidarity”, she assured.
For her part, the special representative of the General secretary of the United Nations for Disaster Risk Reduction highlighted a significant increase in the number of countries with national strategies for disaster risk reduction and the growth of cooperation mechanisms at the regional and subregional level, but not at the local level.
Mami Mizutori noted uneven progress across regions, settings and income levels, noting that disasters continue to disproportionately affect least developed countries, small island developing states, landlocked developing countries and African countries, as well as like middle-income countries.
To accelerate actions aimed at reducing risks until 2030, he urged all States and stakeholders to adopt the calls for action that were adopted in a political statement approved after his intervention.
Among the most important measures in the declaration, Mizutori highlighted:
- Strengthen the availability of risk information and the capacity to apply it, and improve exchange mechanisms between sectors, ministries, organizations and borders
- Strengthen risk management in the face of multiple threats, so that the responsibility for risk reduction is assumed by all State institutions”, with the support of legal and regulatory frameworks and adequate resources, and with the commitment and collaboration of ” All society
- Integrate catastrophe risk reduction into the work of financial authorities, incentivizing and increasing public and private, national and international investment, and collaborating with financial and capital market institutions to better integrate catastrophe risk into their decisions
- Improve the means of implementation and strengthen capacity development, financial resources, data and technology and partnerships
- Integrate into national and local disaster response, recovery and rehabilitation plans provisions to improve preparedness, recovery and treatment of underlying risk factors, and promote investment in multi-hazard early warning mechanisms