First Arab DRR Science Conference planned
BEIRUT, 10 April, 2019 - Efforts are underway to hold a first Arab Science and Technology for Disaster Risk Reduction Conference in Beirut later this year.
This follows a meeting between the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction, Mami Mizutori, and the Secretary-General of Lebanon’s National Council for Scientific Research, Prof. Mouin Hamze.
Ms. Mizutori met yesterday with Prof. Hamze and today told the Arab Forum for Sustainable Development that she was hopeful the Conference would take place later this year and acknowledged the National Council’s role in hosting the recently formed Arab Science and Technology Advisory Group.
“Partnerships, if they are to succeed, need to be nurtured,” she said and called for similar support to be given to other groups including the Arab DRR Children and Youth Group; the Arab DRR Civil Society Group; the Arab Gender Equality and Women Empowerment Group; and the Arab Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.
“It is encouraging to see that stakeholder groups not only have presented their statement of action but have also developed concrete action plans,” she told today’s Special Session on Partnerships.
Ms. Mizutori went on to say: “We need to increase ambition in everything we do to succeed in reducing disaster losses, which is fundamental to eradicating poverty, hunger and the achievement of all other SDGs.
“I hope that these partnerships you have created in the Region will support a substantial increase in national and local strategies for disaster risk reduction to be established by next year, the deadline set out in the Sendai Framework under target (e).”
Ms. Mizutori also said how delighted she was to meet yesterday with staff members of the Saida Governorate “who in addition to their paid jobs are voluntarily engaged in disaster management activities…and interestingly the majority of them seem to be women.”
Earlier in the week, Ms. Mizutori paid a courtesy call on the Prime Minister of Lebanon, Mr. Saad El Hariri, and thanked him for his visible commitment to the Sendai Framework as his office is also home to the country’s Disaster Risk Management Unit.
Mr. El Hariri acknowledged the need for Lebanon to step up its efforts and invest more in capacity building for resilience to disasters and the government is open to advice from the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction.
Ms. Mizutori also spoke yesterday at a workshop to kick off the “CubeSat Technology Project” which envisages the launch of Lebanon’s first NanoSatellite.
“The development of Lebanon’s first Nano Satellite will give a major boost to space based programmes in your universities and will have many applications of benefit to the country’s commercial activity especially in the area of telecommunications. This in turn can be of great use in strengthening early warning systems through mobile phone networks and other channels,” she said.