The Arab Partnership Meeting for Disaster Risk Reduction
The 1st Arab Partnership Meeting for Disaster Risk Reduction will be held on 22-23 April 2018 in Cairo, Egypt. This meeting is organized by UNISDR Regional Office for Arab States in efforts to strengthen partnerships with key stakeholders engaged in disaster risk reduction (DRR), and accelerate the implementation of the Sendai Framework in the Arab region.
The Sendai Framework 2015 - 2030 uses a wide scale people-centered approach in disaster risk reduction that applies to both large and small-scale disasters caused by natural or man-made hazards as well as related environmental, technological and biological disasters. Like the SDGs and the Paris Climate Agreement, the Sendai Framework highlights that resilient sustainable development will only be possible through an all-of-society effort; “Disaster risk reduction requires an all-of-society engagement and partnership. It also requires empowerment and inclusive, accessible and non-discriminatory participation, paying special attention to people disproportionately affected by disasters, especially the poorest. A gender, age, disability and cultural perspective should be integrated in all policies and practices, and women and youth leadership should be promoted. In this context, special attention should be paid to the improvement of organized voluntary work of citizens.” (SFDRR 2015, 19.d)
In Section V of the global plan to reduce disaster losses, the Sendai Framework further specifies the role of various stakeholders in the DRR implementation process. Participation of women, children and youth, the elderly, persons with disability, indigenous peoples, as well as academia and the private sector is needed to achieve meaningful progress for each of the four priorities for action. Science and academic networks for example are expected to “focus on the disaster risk factors and scenarios, including emerging disaster risks, in the medium and long term”, as well as “support the interface between policy and science for decision-making”. On the other hand, the participation of women in all phases of DRR to ensure that “adequate capacity building measures [are] taken to empower women for preparedness as well as to build their capacity to secure alternate means of livelihood in post-disaster situations”. In this regard, it is important to note that existing groupings of stakeholders are not mutually exclusive; and therefore, the roles and activities of different stakeholders can at many times be interdependent and interlinked.
Regional agreements such as the Arab Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction 2030 and instruments such as the Arab Coordination Mechanism for Disaster Risk Reduction (ACMDRR); the main mechanism for the coordination and implementation of the Sendai framework for Disaster Risk Reduction in the Arab Region has also integrated a multi-stakeholder approach. ACMDRR’s membership also calls for engagement of relevant stakeholders such as academic institutions, research centers, private sector, and environmental, health and media organizations.
The Arab Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction (ASDRR) 2020 – adopted by CAMRE resolution #345 in its 22nd session held at the League of Arab States (LAS) (19-20 December 2010) and endorsed by the Economic and Social Council of the LAS in September 2011 – was updated in 2017. The Strategy considers key developments given the adoption of the Sendai Framework that calls for an inclusive all-of-society approach to help states develop and implement their DRR strategies. The updated ASDRR 2030 stakeholders include: “… regional centers of excellence for disaster risk reduction, civil society organizations including Red Cross and Red Crescent societies, the private sector, international development partners and the media.” . The first timeline of the Plan of Action of the Arab Strategy for DRR (2018-2020) identifies key areas of implementation for the achievement of DRR efforts in the Arab region. Annexes 2-5 list activities and areas of focus for various stakeholders including academic and scientific networks, civil society and NGOs, the private sector, and the media. The terms of reference for the Arab stakeholder engagement mechanism to be discussed later in this guideline will build upon the roles and activities established as part of the Plan of Action of the ASDRR 2030.
With the above as background, UNISDR is organizing the 1st Arab Partnership Meeting for Disaster Risk Reduction on 22-23 April in Cairo, Egypt. This will be the forum that gathers representatives from a wide range of stakeholder groups committed to DRR, including and not limited to the private sector, civil society, media, women, youth, academia, NGOs and UN agencies.
The main objectives of the meeting will be:
- Consult on a systematic engagement process for stakeholders to strengthen partnerships with and between key stakeholders towards promoting an all-of-society approach for DRR in the Arab region.
- Consult stakeholder groups on a modality to contribute to the implementation of the Sendai Framework with an attitude of shared-responsibility.
- Promote collaboration between different stakeholder groups and the UN system to integrate risk-informed planning in all stages of development.
- Consult stakeholders on the priorities and preparation towards the 4th Arab Ministerial Conference on DRR (within the Africa-Arab Regional Platform)
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