New pathways towards a more sustainable, more resilient, more prosperous, and more equitable future: the World Reconstruction Conference

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United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction
A woman wearing a face mask to protect herself from COVID-19 walking across a yellow bridge.
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Over the past two years, the COVID-19 pandemic has transformed the world, and its consequences have been particularly severe for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged populations. The worsening climate crisis , compounded by conflict and global food insecurity, combine to create a complex global crisis whose effects are likely to long outlast the pandemic itself.

An urgent mandate to build back better

“There has never been a more urgent mandate to build back better than that of our present time,” announced United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) head Mami Mizutori, opening the 5th World Reconstruction Conference (WRC5).

“Although resources for recovery are already under strain, we must not only restore what was lost to the last two years, but we must set forth new pathways for development in order to achieve a more sustainable, more resilient, more prosperous, and more equitable future.”

The complexity of the present crisis and the unprecedented recovery needs it has prompted calls for a “rethink of how recovery is planned, financed, and managed in order to protect socioeconomic gains, build resilience and contribute to sustainable development”, assessed Sameh Wahba, the World Bank’s Global Director for Urban, Disaster Risk Management, Resilience and Land Global Practice.

Delegates should take stock of best practices and rise to the challenge of addressing the socio-economic impacts of the pandemic, to integrate social and economic recovery, as well as greening and building back better.

The Conference also provides an opportunity to put forward more effective approaches for better recovery from complex and interconnected disaster and conflict events – including pandemics, natural hazards, and climatic shocks and stressors.

A future of inclusive recovery and resilience

“We must look to the future to define sustainability and chart a course for inclusive recovery and resilience,” urged Asako Okai, Director of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Crisis Bureau.

Delegates shared their vision for resetting development pathways toward a greener, more resilient, more equitable future through recovery from the pandemic, disasters, conflicts and other threats. They proposed approaches and good practices to address a new reality of complex and interconnected disasters in a COVID-transformed and conflict-affected world.

From risk to resilience

The WRC5 – jointly hosted by UNDP, the World Bank’s Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) and UNDRR under the umbrella of the International Recovery Platform (IRP) – took place on 23-24 May in conjunction with the 7th session of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (GPDRR2022) in Bali, Indonesia.

The Conference shares the thematic focus of the GPDRR: “From risk to resilience: Towards sustainable development for all in a COVID-19 transformed world”.

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