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Source: Small Island Developing States

17 May 2019: The sixth session of the Global Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction (GP2019) took stock of countries’ progress towards achieving the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) 2015-2030, and affirmed the role of DRR in scaling up action on climate adaptation and resilience. GP2019 urged governments to step up their efforts in implementing the Sendai Framework, noting the imperative for countries to develop their own national and local DRR strategies, and recommended that a mid-term review of the Sendai Framework be conducted, and DRR be fully integrated in SDG implementation.

The 2019 meeting of the Global Platform convened from 13-17 May, in Geneva, Switzerland. Preparatory events took place from 13-14 May, and formal proceedings began on 15 May. The Global Platform comprised five high-level dialogues and two ministerial roundtables, as well as many working sessions and side events.

GP2019 was organized by the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) and the Government of Switzerland on the theme of ‘Resilience Dividend: Towards Sustainable and Inclusive Societies.’ The Platform’s agenda reflected the economic, social, and environmental value of resilience against disasters, and included sessions on practical actions that countries, regions, and local communities are taking on disaster prevention and recovery.

Delegates discussed national actions and possibilities for international collaboration to achieve the four priorities and seven global targets of the Sendai Framework, including Target E, which aims to substantially increase the number of countries with national and local DRR strategies by 2020.

Policymakers and practitioners highlighted the increasingly global and systemic nature of risk, underscoring the need for international cooperation, as well as of the role of technology and action at the ground level to mitigate and counter risk.

The Chairs’ Summary of the meeting notes that 91 countries have reported the development of DRR strategies (Target E) and 116 countries are currently reporting their activities through the Sendai Framework Monitor, an online tool for countries’ self-reporting and comparative analysis. It warns that the current pace of implementation is not fast enough to meet the 2020 deadline for Target E and and that progress on other Sendai Framework targets may also be delayed, jeopardizing achievement of the SDGs by 2030.

The Chairs’ Summary calls for the role of DRR in adaptation to climate change to be recognized at the upcoming UN Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit and the 25th session of the Conference of Parties (COP25) to the UNFCCC. Other recommendations from the summary include, inter alia: making better use of comprehensive and disaggregated data, especially in relation to those most at risk; making available risk data that can enable the pricing of risk; and strengthening planning and action to manage biological hazards, including through enhancing investments in resilient health facilities.

At GP2019, UNDRR launched the 2019 Global Assessment Report (GAR) on DRR, which provides an overview of countries’ progress towards achieving the Sendai targets. The Office also launched a technical working group, charged with developing a list of common and consistent terminology on risk. The World Health Organization (WHO) announced its Health Emergency and Disaster Risk Management (DRM) framework.

Two award ceremonies took place during the week: the UN Sasakawa Award for Disaster Reduction, which recognizes the world’s best initiatives for inclusive, accessible, and non-discriminatory participation in DRR, and the RISK Award, which recognizes outstanding projects in the field of risk reduction and disaster management, and provides EUR 100,000 for project activities, given by the Munich Re Foundation.

At the close of the Global Platform, UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) President Inga Rhonda King urged delegates to draw on the week’s deliberations to inform their countries’ respective positions and their presentation of Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) to the 2019 High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF).

The Global Platform on DRR convenes as a multi-stakeholder forum once every two years. Its aims are to support governments in meeting their commitments on DRR and to engage with all stakeholders in raising awareness, sharing experiences, and promoting action on DRR. Five regional and sub-regional platforms on DRR took place in 2018 in preparation for the sixth session of the Global Platform, hosted by the Governments of Armenia, Colombia, Italy, Mongolia, and Tunisia. [IISD RS Coverage of GP2019] [GP2019 Website] [UNDRR Website]

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