Prince Charles backs revision of HFA

United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction
United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction - Regional Office for Europe & Central Asia
HRH The Prince of Wales
HRH The Prince of Wales

25 June 2014, LONDON – The International Insurance Society today hosted a “Financial and Private Sector Disaster Resilience Global Summit” for 500 insurance and business leaders to discuss how to integrate the business sector and financial system within the new global framework on disaster risk reduction which will succeed the current Hyogo Framework for Action in March, 2015.

Keynote speaker, HRH Prince Charles, said he hoped that “everyone concerned now really sees that the process of revising the Hyogo Framework offers an important opportunity to build on and accelerate the significant progress made in disaster risk reduction in the last ten years. There is a pressing need for a revised framework that can guide the targets and commitments that have to be made in the sustainable development goals and climate change agreements. In fact it can be an important bridge between the SDGs and the UNFCCC and a critical reinforcement.”

HRH highlighted the need for every sector of society to be engaged in disaster risk management and expressed surprise that “only half of the countries currently assessing progress against the existing Hyogo Framework report any engagement with businesses on disaster risk management.”

HRH backed the need for concrete private sector commitments to disaster risk reduction in the approach to the renewal of the UN Hyogo Framework. “Truly sustainable development has to be founded on the principles of resilience and a proper appreciation of risk,” he said.

Elizabeth Longworth, UNISDR Director, said: “One of the great learnings from the last nine years of implementing the world’s first comprehensive agreement on disaster risk reduction, the Hyogo Framework for Action, is that it did not sufficiently emphasize how important a role the private sector can play in reducing exposure to disaster risk.

“The business case for disaster risk reduction has been well made by many people here today, not least by His Royal Highness Prince Charles. The private sector has never been more engaged in the work of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction and this meeting and the proposals which will come from it, will help to ensure the integration of the business sector and financial system into the priorities for action contained in the post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction.”

Today’s summit was organized by the Willis Group, a leading global risk adviser, insurance and reinsurance broker, and is the culmination of four years of collaboration between private and financial sectors and the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR).

Dominic Casserley of Willis Group, said: “Disaster risk is playing a greater part in human life than ever before and it is driven by demographics, economic development and climate change. Increasingly violent and frequent weather events are affecting communities and businesses, particularly in urban areas with ever more dense populations.

“This is also about investment. Investors want access to meaningful information that allows them to make informed judgments about a business. Yet some of today’s most important risks are completely absent from their mindsets. Better disclosure of the real risks that businesses face will lead to improved valuations and pricing for capital, with the better returns that implies.”

A post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction is currently the subject of worldwide consultations before its scheduled adoption at the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai, Japan, in March 14-18, 2015.

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