Disasters are hampering efforts to achieve SDGs: UN


New Delhi: UN Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed said that disasters are hampering global efforts to achieve the Sustainable (SDGs) and warned that there are no governance frameworks in place to manage risks and to mitigate their impact.

Ms. Mohammed was speaking at the opening of the Seventh Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction, the first international forum on the issue since the start of Covid -19 pandemic.

During the three-day meeting, participants will take stock of implementation of a 2015 agreement known as the Sendai Framework, which aims to protect development gains from the risk of disaster.

“The world will experience 1.5 medium to large-scale disasters every day through the end of the decade, unless countries ramp up action on prevention and risk reduction” she said. 

The UN deputy chief told the participants that the world is looking to the forum for leadership, wisdom, and expertise.

“The decisions you take can play a significant part in preventing another calamity like the COVID-19 pandemic,” she said.  “We can – and we must – put our efforts firmly behind prevention and risk reduction, and build a safe, sustainable, resilient and equitable future for all” she said.

Stressing the need for urgency, Ms. Mohammed outlined four areas for action, starting with learning from the pandemic.

“We must secure better coherence and implementation of the humanitarian development nexus.  That means improving risk governance. Because despite our efforts, risk creation is outpacing risk reduction,” she said.

Ms. Mohammed noted that currently, there are no governance frameworks in place to manage risks and to mitigate their impact. She said the UN’s 2022 Global Assessment Report, published last month, outlines ways in which governance systems can evolve to better address systemic risks. 

The report “makes clear that in a world of uncertainty, understanding and reducing risk, is fundamental to achieving sustainable development”, she added.

Ms. Mohammed listed the provision of Early Warning Systems as one example of an effective measure that provides a considerable return on investment.

She said the UN Secretary-General has asked the World Meteorological Organization to present an action plan at the next UN Climate Conference (COP27), to be held in Egypt in November, aimed at ensuring that every person on earth is covered by Early Warning Systems within five years.   

Emphasizing on “Resilience, must be our mantra” the President of the UN General Assembly Abdulla Shahid, said that one overriding lesson of COVID and the climate crisis, was that those who are furthest behind, and who suffer the most are “far to often, wiped away by whatever crisis comes their way.”

“Our recovery from the pandemic must reflect this knowledge” he said.

“Every new building, every new social programme, every budget and every initiative must be designed and executed in a way that reduces risk. It must be embedded into everything we do, from the very beginning, and cross-checked at each step of the way.

“And the importance, no, the necessity, of this will only increase.”

The Seventh Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction was organized by the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) and is being hosted by the Government of Indonesia. 


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