Vatican supports Sendai Framework implementation
CANCUN, 26 May, 2017 - In a special message to the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction, Pope Francis has said that the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction for reducing disaster losses, the Paris Agreement on climate change, and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, are "all profoundly interrelated and significant for the future of humanity."
The statement from the Vatican noted the major challenge of "integrating activities for disaster risk reduction with initiatives aimed at promoting integral human development, eliminating poverty and social exclusion, mitigating climate change and adapting to it."
Pope Francis is the spiritual leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics, 40% of whom live in Latin America.
The statenent said there was a need to reinforce the work of prevention, education and training. Another area of concern for the Vatican is to raise awareness of the need to pay special attention to those who are most vulnerable, especially the poor and to involve them directly in training programmes, knowledge sharing and consciousness raising.
"Evaluating the 'damage' caused by natural disasters must also take into account the 'interior damage' , the suffering of those who have lost dear ones and have seen the sacrifices of an entire life swept away."
Religious and cultural traditions play a significant role in resilience. There needs to be broad participation in the work of reducing disaster risk including indigenous peoples.
"These concerns are central to this Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduciton whose aim is to identify and share innovative solutions for an integrated approach at every level, from the local to the international."
The statement quoted the words of Pope Francis "our concern cannot be limited merely to the threat of extreme weather events or great natural disasters, but must also extend to the catastrophic consequences of social unrest. Obsession with a consumerist lifestyle, above all when few people are capable of maintaining it, can only lead to violence and mutual destruction."
The statement concluded with the Pope's good wishes and expression of confidence that the Global Platform outcomes will lead to "more determined efforts to meet the challenges before us with ever greater solidarity and shared concern."