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World conference adopts new international framework for disaster risk reduction after marathon negotiations


March 24, 2015   by Canadian Underwriter


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Following the 3rd annual UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai, Japan last week, representatives from 187 United Nations member states have adopted the first major agreement of the post-2015 development agenda – a far reaching new framework for disaster risk reduction.

New framework includes several global targets to be achieved over the next 15 yearsConference president, Eriko Yamatani, Minister of State for Disaster Management, announced agreement on the text, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 – the new international framework for disaster risk reduction, following a marathon final round of negotiations which went on for over 30 hours, according to a statement from the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR).

Margareta Wahlström, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction and the Head of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction

“The adoption of this new framework for disaster risk reduction opens a major new chapter in sustainable development as it outlines clear targets and priorities for action which will lead to a substantial reduction of disaster risk and losses in lives, livelihoods and health,” said Margareta Wahlström (pictured right), the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction and the Head of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction. “Implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction over the next 15 years will require strong commitment and political leadership and will be vital to the achievement of future agreements on sustainable development goals and climate later this year.”

Related: Average annual global losses, threat to lives and livelihoods from natural disasters pegged at US$190 billion: U.N. conference

The framework outlines seven global targets to be achieved over the next 15 years: a substantial reduction in global disaster mortality; a substantial reduction in numbers of affected people; a reduction in economic losses in relation to global GDP; substantial reduction in disaster damage to critical infrastructure and disruption of basic services, including health and education facilities; an increase in the number of countries with national and local disaster risk reduction strategies by 2020; enhanced international cooperation; and increased access to multi-hazard early warning systems and disaster risk information and assessments.

After over 30 hours of negotiations, a new global framework for disaster risk reduction has been adopted by 187 UN member states at the UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai, Japan. (Photo: Manny de Guzman)

“Successful implementation of this new framework will mean a reduction of existing levels of disaster risk and avoidance of the creation of new risk,” Yamatani said in the statement.

The WCDRR was attended by over 6,500 participants, including 2,800 government representatives from 187 governments. The public forum had 143,000 visitors over the five days of the conference, making it one of the largest UN gatherings ever held in Japan.

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