Introduction of the Secretary-General’s Report on the Implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030

United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction


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Statement by Ms. Mami Mizutori

Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction

Introduction of the Secretary-General’s Report on the Implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030

General Assembly - Second Committee - 12 October 2020


Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates,


It is my pleasure to introduce the report of the Secretary-General on the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, A/75/226.


Today’s presentation is timely because tomorrow is the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction. Every year since 1989 we have been commemorating this day to raise awareness so that we are better prepared and preventing better from disasters. This year as we are fighting COVID-19, a global disaster, a tragedy, there has never been a higher awareness for the importance for disaster risk reduction than in any time. And, this year, we will focus on Target E of the Sendai Framework which seeks a substantial increase in national and local disaster risk reduction strategies by the end of this year.


This is the foundation for  good disaster risk governance, and its importance  has never been greater. The lack of a clear vision, planning and capacity in managing disaster risk leads to unnecessary death and suffering, and economic losses on a scale that make it difficult to achieve the SDGs. A failure to plan is a plan for failure.


COVID-19 and the climate emergency demonstrate the systemic nature of risk and the potential for cascading social, economic, environmental, and political impacts across systems and borders. This year’s Secretary-General’s report is a ringing call for countries to integrate the Sendai Framework into COVID-19 recovery, and into the implementation of the SDGs.


The report provides an update on progress towards the Sendai Framework’s seven global targets and the four priorities for action. Implementation is delivering results, however, the pace of action is not fast enough.


When the report was compiled, progress towards targets to reduce disaster mortality and people affected by disasters were on the right track. Sadly, COVID-19 has reversed this trend for 2020.


Targets to reduce economic losses and damage to critical infrastructure due to disasters remain far off track, and COVID-19 is making the trajectory .


While many countries have developed DRR strategies in line with Target E, quite a number are not on course to meet this target by the end of 2020.


Similarly, the desired level of international cooperation for DRR is yet to materialize, and too many countries lack access to multi-hazard early-warning systems.


Good data collection is vital in measuring progress towards these targets. The Secretary-General therefore recommends that Member States engage national statistics offices in collecting, validating, and reporting on disaster loss through the Sendai Framework Monitor.


This is particularly important for Sendai Framework Priority One on understanding disaster risk.  The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare the deficient understanding of the systemic nature of risk and interdependencies between sectors.


The Secretary-General urges all countries to invest in conducting disaster risk assessments and strengthening cross-sectoral collaboration on multi-hazard data collection and analysis; to disclose and disseminate the disaster risk information; and to actively engage the public and to nurture a culture of risk reduction and prevention.


For Priority Two on strengthening disaster risk governance; participatory, multi-hazard national and local DRR strategies that are fully aligned with the Sendai Framework are crucial. The Secretary-General recommends that Member States review existing DRR strategies or develop new strategies that include aspects of the Sendai Framework that may have been overlooked, and periodically assess and publicly report on the implementation of strategies, including discussion at parliaments.


National and local legislative and regulatory frameworks and standards for DRR are also essential for good risk governance. The Secretary-General calls on Member States to consider making DRR a clear legal obligation under national law and to develop necessary DRR legislation, regulations and standards.


For Priority Three on investing in DRR for resilience, the Secretary- General calls for a new approach. The report recommends that the UN system, International Financial Institutions, and development banks collaborate to support Member States to develop national DRR financing strategies and embed DRR into integrated national financing frameworks.


Sendai Framework Priority Four to enhance disaster preparedness and to “Build Back Better”, has gained a new urgency in light of COVID-19. Recovery and rehabilitation provide an opportunity for transformative policies that address the underlying drivers of disaster risk. The Secretary-General therefore recommends that Member States apply the Sendai Framework to ensure a prevention-oriented and risk-informed approach to COVID-19 recovery and rehabilitation.


The capacity and needs of LDCs, LLDCs and SIDS are considered throughout the report. The Secretary-General calls on donor countries to ensure that their development assistance is risk-informed and aligned with national DRR strategies. The Fifth UN Conference for the LDCs is identified as an opportunity to integrate DRR into international support and domestic policies in LDCs.


Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates,


Determined leadership and commitment are needed to implement the Sendai Framework as an integral part of the 2030 Agenda. An annual discussion on DRR at the HLPF is instrumental to assess integration in the implementation of, and achieving, the SDGs. A midterm review of Sendai Framework in 2023 is also identified as a crucial opportunity to check progress and renew political commitment to DRR and to achieve the Sendai Framework by 2030.


The combination of the COVID-19 pandemic and the escalating climate emergency must be a watershed moment for disaster risk reduction in all sectors.


Finally, in closing, I hope you will join the one and only Second Committee side event this year which will focus on disaster risk-informed and resilient COVID-19 recovery at 3pm this Thursday.


Thank you very much.


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