Dushanbe Platform marks Sendai milestone

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United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction - Sub-Regional Office for Central Asia
(From left) The UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction, Mr. Robert Glasser, the Deputy Prime Minister of Tajikistan, Mr. Zokirzoda Mahmadtoir Zoir, and the Chairman of Tajikistan's Committee of Emergency Situations, Lt. Gen. Rustam Hazarzoda, at the Regional Platform yesterday. (Photo: UNISDR)
(From left) The UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction, Mr. Robert Glasser, the Deputy Prime Minister of Tajikistan, Mr. Zokirzoda Mahmadtoir Zoir, and the Chairman of Tajikistan's Committee of Emergency Situations, Lt. Gen. Rustam Hazarzoda, at the Regional Platform yesterday. (Photo: UNISDR)

DUSHANBE, 13 July 2016 – The first Central Asia and South Caucasus Regional Platform is a landmark moment for the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, a global blueprint adopted last year.

It is the latest region to establish such a forum to strengthen collaboration and provide important support to implementation of the Sendai Framework, designed to reduce both disaster risk and disaster losses.

The Deputy Prime Minister of Tajikistan, Mr. Zokirzoda Mahmadtoir Zoir, looked ahead to a bright future of cross-border cooperation in Central Asia and South Caucasus and called for the establishment of annual meetings on a rotating basis.

“We are confident that this Regional Platform will become an effective regional cooperation mechanism that will help solve national problems,” he said during the meeting in his country’s capital from Tuesday to Thursday.

The seven countries represented – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan – began discussions to agree a common voice on a number of key areas including national strategies, the development of targets and indicators, inter-governmental mechanisms and international partnership more generally.

The draft ‘Dushanbe Declaration’ will now need to pass through the formal governmental mechanisms of each country in readiness for being presented at the upcoming Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, in India in November 2016, as well as the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction, in Mexico in May 2017.

The UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction, and Head of UNISDR, Mr. Robert Glasser, said: “Central Asia and the South Caucasus will make a significant contribution at these very important regional and global conferences.

“The success here in Dushanbe reflects a key principle of the Sendai Framework; that is multi-stakeholder platforms, under the combined leadership of governments, have a key role in disaster risk reduction.

“Everyone – from farmers to heads of state – understands DRR. Ultimately it is a shared responsibility between all stakeholders.”

The sectoral composition of the Central Asia and South Caucasus Regional Platform embodied to a large degree that principle. In the room were senior representatives from various countries’ ministries and departments of agriculture, disaster management, economic development and investment, industry, education, energy, finance, geology, health, justice, labour, technology, and transport.

The Central Asia and the South Caucasus region is home to 75 million people who live in a largely landlocked area that has a remarkably diverse geography. Almost all types of natural and technological hazards are present, including earthquakes, floods, landslides, debris flows, avalanches, droughts and extreme temperatures. Many of these hazards are of a cross-border nature.

While earthquakes are the most dangerous hazard, it is the smaller, localised recurring events such as floods and landslides that cumulatively have the biggest negative impact on people’s lives and livelihoods.

The Sendai Framework, which was adopted by the international community in March last year and runs to 2030, has seven targets.

It aims to bring about substantial reductions in disaster deaths, the number of affected people and economic losses, plus damage to critical infrastructure and disruption to basic services such as health and educational facilities. It also seeks to increase the number of countries with national and local risk reduction strategies, bolster the capacity of developing countries, and vastly increase coverage by early warning systems.

Target one of the Sendai Framework – reducing mortality – will be the theme of this year’s edition of International Day for Disaster Reduction on 13 October.

 

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