Opening remarks by SRSG Mizutori at the Global Platform 2022 - Stakeholder Forum

Source(s): United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction

HE Inia Seruiratu Minister for Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management of Fiji,

HE Kurt Kunz Ambassador of Switzerland to Indonesia, to Timor-Leste and ASEAN

Fellow speakers,

UNDRR SEM members,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Welcome to the second Stakeholder Forum, as part of the preparatory days for the 2022 Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction. This plenary is a wonderful way to kick off what I hope will be an exciting, productive and powerful week.

We come together this morning in support of an all-of-society approach to disaster risk reduction. Appropriately, we have already heard many ideas from many different voices. When each unique perspective contributes to the greater whole, we have our best chance of meeting the world’s challenges, addressing risk factors that drive vulnerability and strengthening DRR governance systems.

An all-of-society approach to reducing risk and building resilience is one of the Sendai Framework’s guiding principles. Specifically, it calls for “inclusive, accessible and non-discriminatory participation”, and suggests that special attention be paid to those disproportionately affected by disasters.

The Sendai Framework also specifically highlights the role of non-state actors in DRR decision-making, recognizing their “commitment, goodwill, knowledge, experience and resources.” Alongside governments, non-state actors serve as valuable partners in implementing Sendai Framework’s targets at the local, national and global levels.

To support these commitments, UNDRR works with a range of stakeholders. This includes the 17 Major Groups and other stakeholders, such as the business community, who we engage with through our flagship initiative called ARISE.

As many of you are aware, “The UNDRR Stakeholder Engagement Mechanism", otherwise known as SEM, is our main vehicle to engage with non-state actors. I am very pleased that the SEM has seen successful growth in recent years. Just in the last year, membership increased by 31%. Through the SEM, stakeholders have a platform that provides a range of meaningful opportunities for collaboration and action. They can; exchange experiences and lessons learned; identify opportunities; and build meaningful partnerships.

Over the last year, stakeholders, including representatives from some of the most at-risk communities, have strategically engaged in 7 different global development processes. These include the SDGs, the Paris Climate Agreement, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, the New Urban Agenda, Financing for Development, Regional Platforms for disaster risk reduction, and the Midterm Review for the Sendai Framework. SEM members have issued official statements and policy briefs in these global development fora, urgently calling for a preventive, risk-informed approach to all decision making. They have also asked for accountability frameworks that support comprehensive risk disclosure and preventive action.

The joint work between UNDRR and stakeholders under the SEM has strengthened valuable citizen-led and social accountability mechanisms. Moreover, this collaboration has generally catalyzed an inclusive and broad movement to implement the Sendai Framework.

The recent Stakeholders Perspectives report of Midterm Review of the Sendai Framework highlights that there has been significant progress in incorporating an ‘all-of-society’ approach in DRR. In large part, this can be attributed to approach promoted by the Sendai Framework and enabled by UNDRR through the SEM. The SEM values the unique characteristics of each constituency and provides enabling opportunities for them to self-organise.

However, stakeholders have also brought to our attention that this progress has focused more heavily on ‘agenda setting’, as opposed to ‘follow up and review’ and ‘monitoring.’ Moreover, it has also not been replicated in all national and local contexts.

Such ideas are further echoed in the official SEM statement to the GP2022, which calls for sustainable, inclusive and risk-informed development with the following qualities: whole of government, localized, sustainably financed, leaves no one behind, and promotes learning-in-action.

This second session of the Stakeholder Forum for Disaster Risk Reduction provides an opportunity to explore some of these issues. Today, we will hear about examples of inclusive, all-of-society approaches in the implementation of the Sendai Framework. We will also learn from each other and ideally further accelerate collective action toward our DRR goals. In alignment with the identified themes of the GP2022, we encourage stakeholders to deliberate upon, share experiences, and consider ways forward on the following topics: disaster risk governance, covid-19 recovery, DRR financing, Sendai Framework stocktaking, leaving no one behind, and SDGS and climate action.

UNDRR is committed to supporting the SEM as it increases its reach, influence and impact. We strongly believe in the potential of the SEM as a mechanism for global knowledge sharing and advocacy, and as the primary channel to integrate the voices of all stakeholders - not only in DRR but in broader sustainable development processes. We look forward to continuing a tradition of connecting best practices from the local and national levels with the regional and global levels. I would encourage you to formally join the SEM if you have not already, to help us to continue fostering the all-of-society approach to DRR and create disaster-resilient communities.

Thank you for your time. I wish you productive and meaningful discussions over the next two days.

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