Remarks by SRSG Mizutori: World Assembly of Local and Regional Governments

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 Assembly of Local and Regional Governments

27 April 2022

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Local and regional governments are the UN’s valued partners. In this partnership, global norms and agenda-setting meet local challenges and solutions. Thank you to the United Cities and Local Governments for the opportunity to be here today and to the Global Taskforce of Local and Regional Governments for convening this World Assembly.

The value of local governments has been evident in the response to recent global challenges and stressors. They are often the first responders to disasters and have been on the front lines in helping communities manage the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Empowering local leaders and communities is key to enhancing the role of local and regional governments in the implementation of global agendas. . For this reason, I am pleased to again see the Assembly’s hashtag: #Listen2cities. As we seek pathways to accelerate momentum on the New Urban Agenda and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, this message carries special resonance.

While all disasters deserve attention, climate change continues to drive risk and exacerbate other challenges. Over the past 30 years, 90% of all disasters have been related to climate change and extreme weather events. Losses from these disasters are increasingly concentrated in urban areas, where both population size and pressure on infrastructure continue to grow. As temperatures continue to rise, the world’s cities will both bear the brunt of the impact and are responsible for implementing solutions.

This is why UNDRR joined with partners, including UCLG, to launch last year an initiative that supports local governments build climate and disaster resilience. This initiative is called Making Cities Resilient 2030 or MCR2030 It is a global collaboration that connects regional and national partners to help municipal and city governments enhance their understanding of risks, and develop and implement local resilience plans.

With the aim “to Leave No Municipality Behind,” MCR2030 currently has more than 1,030 member cities from around the world and its reach and impact continue to grow. We encourage all cities to sign up. The evidence is clear: cities that invest in risk reduction today, will both suffer – and pay – less tomorrow.

Next month, the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction takes place in Bali, Indonesia. We expect several MCR2030 cities to take part, and I am confident that their contributions will have a meaningful impact on the conference outcomes. They will also contribute to the Midterm Review of the Sendai Framework, which concludes in May 2023. We invite cities and local governments to participate in coordination with national authorities to make sure their needs are considered in the review process.

Before closing, I would like to acknowledge the leadership role UCLG plays in ensuring that the voices of local leaders are heard and can influence global policy. My trusted Co-Chair on the MCR2030 Global Coordinating Committee is the UCLG Secretary-General, Ms. Emilia Saiz.  I extend my sincere appreciation to Ms. Saiz and to UCLG for all your work toward more inclusive and resilient municipalities around the world.

Thank you.

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