Parliamentarians key DRR actors - UN SG
NEW YORK, 2 September 2015 - The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction is “a fundamental stepping stone marking this year of global action for people and the planet,” according to UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon in remarks to a gathering of Speakers of Parliament from around the world.
He stated: “The Sendai Framework has important implications for the work of parliamentarians. It shifts the emphasis from disaster management to disaster risk management. “
In a statement delivered on his behalf by Mr. Thomas Gass, UN Assistant Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, he said: “Parliamentarians will be key actors in translating the Goals and Targets into meaningful improvements in the daily lives of people across the world.
“You can contribute by using your legislative and monitoring functions to ensure sustainable capital investments and adequate social expenditures. You can adopt stronger and smarter laws, regulations, plans and policies that reflect the new development global agenda.”
The Sendai Framework adopted in March at the UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction aims for substantial reductions in disaster losses. In his opening remarks to the Conference, the Secretary-General said: “Sustainability starts in Sendai.”
Mr. Saber Chowdhury, President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), acknowledged that the Sendai Framework makes clear reference to the work of parliamentarians actively encouraging them to develop new or amending legislation for disaster risk reduction and setting budget allocations.
Mr. Chowdhury said the linkages between risk reduction, climate change and sustainable development were now very clear. “80% of the disasters are linked to climate change and the impact on sustainable development is evidently negative,” he said.
The head of UNISDR, Margareta Wahlström, highlighted the priorities for action in the Sendai Framework which include improved understanding of disaster risk, strengthening disaster risk governance, increased investment in resilience through structural and non-structural measures and enhancing disaster preparedness with a focus on building back better in recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction.
Ms. Wahlström emphasized the importance of risk governance as key to achieving sustainable development. She pointed out that the Sendai Framework acknowledges the health sector as central to people’s efforts to build resilience.
Mr. Wang Xiaochu, Vice-Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, National People’s Congress, China, said that over the past ten years 400 million people have been affected by disasters in China and economic losses were in the range of $US 50 billion.
He said that China was very involved in the negotiations on the Sendai Framework and is committed to its implementation. Disaster risk reduction has been integrated into the country’s latest five year economic and social plan.
The IPU-UNISDR Breakfast Meeting at UN HQ in New York was organized as a side-event for the Fourth World Conference of Speakers of Parliament which concludes today. About 180 parliamentary leaders from nearly 140 countries have been examining way to tackle global challenges to peace and democracy.