‘No boundaries between cities’ on road to resilience
'THERE should be no boundaries between the cities of the world as we work together amid the crises that humanity faces'.
This was the rallying call of Mayor of Incheon Mr Yoo Jeong-bok as he opened today’s International Disaster Resilience Leaders Forum, which is taking place in his city.
‘Effectively managing disaster risk is necessary to achieve resilient and sustainable development,’ said Mayor Yoo.
‘The theme of this conference – The Role of Cities in Reducing Complex Risk – reflects the importance of local governments. The experience of recent years and the lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic have shown that we need to be together to ensure safety and resilience for all.’
Senior representatives and technical experts from 23 countries are at the Leaders Forum. The conference is consolidating recommendations on disaster resilience ahead of a series of mid-term reviews of major international development policies.
The Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General for Disaster Risk Reduction, Ms Mami Mizutori, echoed Mayor Yoo’s call for scaled up action.
‘As we reach the halfway point in the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, there is still much to be done to get ahead of these disasters and to safeguard sustainable development,’ Ms Mizutori said.
‘Cities and local leaders have a crucial role to play to reduce increasingly complex risks and strengthen local resilience. It is at the local level that the effects of disasters are most acutely felt, and where risk reduction efforts have the best chance of succeeding.
Ms Mizutori referenced the power of cities learning from each other. She recalled the recent visit of a delegation from Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt – the host of the upcoming COP27 – to Incheon to learn from one of the global leaders in disaster resilience.
Making Cities Resilient 2030 (MCR2030) – a UN-led global collaboration of local governments and partners committed to urban disaster resilience – has recognized Incheon as a Resilience Hub and Sharm El-Sheikh is due to be similarly acknowledged when it hosts the COP27 in November.
The Secretary General of the Trilateral Cooperation Secretariat, Ms Ou Boqian, highlighted how the diverse practical experience being shared at the forum ‘would benefit the whole world and be a great tailwind to implement the Sendai Framework’.
Ms Boqian reiterated that disaster risk reduction ‘stands at the front of cooperation’ efforts between China, Japan, and Republic of Korea.
In his remarks, Secretary General of ASEAN H.E. Dato Lim Jock Hoi emphasized the importance of integrated and inclusive cross-sector approaches to reduce disaster risk and its associated negative impacts, such as growing inequalities.
He said supporting resilient and sustainable cities was a priority for ASEAN in an era of more frequent and intense hazards.