Opening remarks by SRSG Mizutori: World Reconstruction Conference 5

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

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Remarks by Mami Mizutori, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction

World Reconstruction Conference 5 – Opening Ceremony

May 23 2022



Fellow panelists,

Distinguished participants,

Ladies and gentlemen,

I am pleased to be here with you for the 5th World Reconstruction Conference, co-organized by UNDP, the World Bank, and UNDRR, under the umbrella of the International Recovery Platform. 

For the last two years, countries around the world have fought to save lives from a relentless pandemic, while continuing to face the consequences of our changing climate and natural and man-made hazards. Throughout this crisis, leaders have faced the unprecedented challenge of managing an ongoing response and recovery simultaneously, from a crisis with an uncertain end. Every country, every sector and virtually every person has been impacted, but none more so than the poorest and most vulnerable.

We are meeting at a critical juncture for the Sustainable Development Goals and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. Both of these landmark frameworks are approaching the midpoint of their implementation at a time of significant setbacks. This includes those incurred from the global pandemic, disasters, conflict and their downstream impacts on global hunger and poverty to name a few.

As countries conduct their midterm reviews of the implementation of the Sendai Framework, we have a crucial opportunity to reflect upon what we have achieved, where we have fallen short, and what we have learned over the first seven years of implementing the Sendai Framework. We also have an opportunity to form a vision for reducing disaster risk and building back better in light of our changed and changing world.

How we recover from the setbacks of the last two years will determine whether we meet the ambitions of the Sustainable Development Agenda and the Sendai Framework. There has never been a more urgent need to build back better than that of our present time. Although resources for recovery are already under strain, we must restore what was lost, and we must set forth new pathways for development. We must ensure that new infrastructure works to reduce risk, not create or increase it, if we are to stop the spiral of disaster destruction.

That is why we will use this conference to learn from one another about how to understand the concurrent and cascading impacts of the pandemic, disasters, and conflict.

We will work together to use the recovery process to build back better by resetting development pathways toward a greener and more resilient, societies. And we will rethink how we plan and manage recovery from complex and interconnected crises in a post-COVID world.

Within each of these objectives, we will tackle many of the emerging and persistent challenges for recovery. These include infrastructure resilience, urbanization, financing, governance, greening, meeting the needs of vulnerable groups, and of course, planning and preparing for recovery before disasters strike.

I look forward to engaging with and learning from all of you. I also look forward to building on the lessons and outcomes of this conference at the Global Platform and beyond, to achieve a more sustainable, more resilient, more prosperous, and more equitable future.

Thank you very much

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