Remarks by SRSG Mizutori: Roundtable Discussion: Mid-Term Review of Climate and post-2015 global Agreement

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United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction

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Roundtable Discussion: Mid-Term Review of Climate and post-2015 global Agreement

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

 

Minister Nesreen Al-Tamimi,

Ambassador Mohamed Nasr,

Dr Taher Khalifa Abul Hassan,  

Excellencies,

Dear Fellow Speakers

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In spite of all the challenges the COVID-19 pandemic has created, this disaster has raised our awareness and deepened our understanding of risk. We now know that the contemporary nature of risk that surrounds us is systemic and interconnected with cascading impacts. 

We will never look at risk in the same way again, and this is the silver-lining of this terrible disaster. My hope is that we will also change our relationship with risk, avoid creating new risk, get better in reducing existing risks, and will minimise the shocks that materialize when risk become disasters.

This is the essence of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.

As many of you know, the work of UNDRR is guided by this global blueprint for risk reduction and resilience adopted unanimously by all Member States in 2015. 

With the changing face of risk as the back drop, the Mid-term Review of the Sendai Framework is underway, and the timing could not be better.

Not only the COVID-19 pandemic but also the climate emergency is making clear that shocks from disasters cannot be substantially reduced unless the dynamic and systemic nature of risk is better understood.

Furthermore, by now we know that dynamic and systemic risk can only be tackled by good risk governance and management systems that incorporate adaptive, systems-based approaches.  The Mid-term Review of the Sendai Framework offers a crucial opportunity to reflect on our current risk governance and risk management mechanisms, in order to identify  what changes are needed for the 2023-2030 period to implement the Sendai Framework, and achieve its goals.

Last year, the substantive review including consultations with governments and all-other stakeholders began. At the global and regional level, relevant meetings and processes for input have started and will continue– including the Regional Platform for DRR for the Arab States which was hosted by the Government of the Kingdom of Morocco in November last year, and the Global Platform for DRR will be hosted in May this year by the Government of Indonesia, in Bali.  

Let me take this opportunity to share with you what I believe are some of the most important features of this Process.

Firstly, I cannot emphasize more that the foundation will be the Voluntary National Review Processes carried out by Member State at the country level. This will allow us to identify progresses and challenges on the ground in implementing the Sendai Framework. Already more than fifty Member States have expressed their determination to take forward their voluntary national review process, and we at UNDRR are encouraged by this. UNDRR together with other UN agencies stand ready to provide guidance and support to Member States, in particular to vulnerable countries which lack resources and capacity.

Secondly, a very important principle of the implementation of the Sendai Framework is the ‘all-of-society’, ‘all-of- government’ approach. Why?  Because risk is everyone’s business and it should be mainstreamed in all policy and decision making. Non-governmental stakeholders have a crucial role to play, and we strongly urge Member States to include the civil society, academia, scientific and technological groups, and most importantly the voice of vulnerable groups in you national review process. I am delighted that we will hear your voices today.

Thirdly, while the MTR of the SF will focus primarily on the period right in front of us, as 2030, the year by which we have to implement the SF is only seven years away, the review process will provide us with a platform to discuss, consult and plant seeds about what the international framework for risk reduction could, should look like beyond 2030. With climate emergency and potential future pandemics looming, the intensity and ferocity of disasters will, unfortunately, continue to increase beyond 2030.

Fourth the process should be taken forward at all levels, local, national, regional and global, and this is why the role of regional organisations such as the League of Arab States is important in this process.

Last but certainly not least, and closely aligned to the theme of today’s roundtable, the MTR also offers an opportunity to drive integration and alignment with other international frameworks, importantly the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.  There is so much synergy that needs to be ensured between the implementation of the Sendai Framework and the Paris Agreement, in particular between DRR and climate adaptation which was a strong focus of COP26, and I believe, will continue to COP27. We also know that, as nothing undermines sustainable development like disasters, the implementation of the Sendai Framework will directly impact on the implementation of the SDGs.

All three frameworks share the common goal of building resilience of humans and ecosystems and to leave nobody behind. They push countries and governments toward documenting progress against targets, they call strongly for technological development and transfer, and they emphasize the importance of making wise, risk-informed future investments.

In this regard, the Midterm Review of the Sendai Framework, must be recognized as an opportunity to integrate risk reduction into the implementation of all other international agendas, sectors and areas of work. In addition to the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement, this process can also contribute to, and draw from other global stock-taking and review exercises, such as the Convention to Combat Desertification, the Aichi Targets, the Convention on Biological Diversity, the New Urban Agenda and the International Decade for Water.

The process will conclude in a high-level meeting of the General Assembly in New York in May 2023. This meeting will adopt a concise and action-oriented political declaration to renew commitment, accelerate implementation and inform the review of the SDGs. It will also contribute to the global stock-take of the Paris Agreement.

Without doubt, the Midterm Review presents opportunities for the Arab region, which has a unique set of vulnerabilities - including high levels of urbanization, arid climates, water scarcity, to name a few. These challenges have clearly been exacerbated by the Covid 19 pandemic, while  intensifying climate change impacts are acting as a risk multiplier, impeding sustainable development.

Moving forward, I encourage Arab States to share your specific experiences, challenges, emerging issues and recommendations for enhanced risk reduction.  We seek your ideas about how an all-of-government, all-of-society approach can contribute to risk-informed decision making in your region.

We know several Arab States, which are middle-income countries, still face significant challenges in accessing concessional financing for the implementation of the Sendai Framework.  It is our intention to keep this issue at the forefront of the conversation and advocate for this to be addressed.

In this regard and others, we are here to support you.

The need for new approaches to risk and mechanisms to tackle them has never been greater. May the Midterm Review spark new ideas, and may we stop trying to manage disasters after they break us and instead start managing disaster risk by better prevention and building resilience.

UNDRR stands ready to collaborating with Arab States throughout this review and beyond.

Thank you very much.

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