16 March 2015
Global actors convene in Sendai for United Nations Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction: international cooperation vital for development and climate change agenda
A number of national and international actors are currently gathered in the Japanese city of Sendai for the United Nations Third World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction. The Conference assesses ten years of global cooperation to curb the impact of disasters, and aims to update and create an effective global prevention framework that utilises a variety of sectors.
Confirming the need for enhanced international cooperation Margareta Wahlström, the head of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), stated that ‘what is left for Member States and countries now is to find a common formula for the terms of international cooperation on financing, on how to formulate a common global commitment. But also of course the achievement of sustainable development goals and how to deal with climate adaptation.’
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon noted that a growing recognition of the costs had led to greater private sector participation in this years’ Conference; ‘a decade ago, when the last such gathering was held, the private sector was scarcely represented,’ Mr. Ban said. ‘This time, companies and entrepreneurs will be there in full force to explore a range of valuable opportunities.’ Concerns remain widespread that the drivers of disaster risks such as environmental degradation, poverty, climate change, and weak governance institutions have not been eradicated.
Ms. Wahlström stressed the importance of aligning the outcomes reached at Sendai with the development and climate agenda to be agreed on in Paris later this year. ‘This … is one of the cornerstones for success of all the efforts being put in in 2015 for a sustainable and viable development future for all countries in the world,’ she said. ‘So it is an opportunity that lends itself to the increasing understanding of how risk, development and sustainability links to each other.’