Blog: EU Statement to World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction

Met dank overgenomen van K. (Kristalina) Georgieva i, gepubliceerd op zaterdag 14 maart 2015.

Read the statement of the European Union and its Member States to the Third United Nations World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, which I delivered in Sendai, Japan on Saturday, 14th March

I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union and its Member States.

The following countries align themselves with this statement: Turkey, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Serbia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Republic of Moldova and Georgia.

We are approaching the end of a long and fruitful negotiation process.

The Hyogo Framework for Action agreed 10 years ago has been instrumental in supporting global, regional and national efforts for disaster risk reduction.

It is now time to set the world on a clear course for enhanced disaster resilience. We must keep high our ambition for the post-2015 Framework for Action as a key element for sustainable development.

This is what the Sendai conference needs to aim at. It is our collective responsibility.

The post 2015 framework should be universal and based on shared responsibility. The EU is ready to play its full part in such a new global partnership, together with all stakeholders, including civil society and the private sector.

It also needs to demonstrate our strong commitment to risk management and vulnerability reduction as critical components of human rights protection, poverty reduction and sustainable development strategies. But this is also a more cost-effective use of our funds: every euro invested in disaster risk reduction saves between four and seven euros of disaster response.

In international cooperation, development and humanitarian aid we have taken concrete measures to increase coordination, thus ensuring capacity-building and making resilience a priority in our work in all third countries most vulnerable to natural hazards.

At EU level, last year we revised our civil protection legislation with a very strong focus on preparedness and prevention policy and action. We are committed to the development of risk and risk management capability assessments. We have also integrated risk management measures in a number of key EU policies and financial instruments.

At this stage of the negotiations, we would like to convey the following main observations:

Firstly, the focus on effective implementation will be vital for the success of the new framework. This should take place mostly at the country level, although national efforts can be reinforced also through cooperation and partnerships at regional and global levels. In this regard, regional inter-governmental organisations should play an important role to support efforts to implement the new framework.

We would like to reiterate the importance of the new framework of delivering results and measuring progress; to this end the EU has been supporting action-oriented targets linked to the priorities of action.

Transparency and accountability will be important as well as good governance, at all levels, as well as a comprehensive monitoring of all actions, which will be needed to ensure an effective use of resources and a greater focus on impact.

Secondly, we support a strong focus on the integration of disaster risk management within all national development policies, economic and financial strategies, research programmes, and multilateral and bilateral assistance programmes. In order to implement planned measures effectively and efficiently, the local and community level has to play a pivotal role in all parts of the disaster management cycle.

It is also crucial to ensure a joint approach with climate change adaptation and a strengthened focus on reducing the underlying risk drivers and building the resilience of ecosystems.

Thirdly, it is vital that the new framework addresses vulnerabilities and needs and harnesses the potential of civil society. It should also integrate gender, age, and disabilities for a more inclusive disaster risk management.

Fourthly, we have been advocating in the course of negotiations for a framework factoring in conflict and fragility, technological risks, emerging risks, and global shocks and stresses such as food and nutrition insecurity and epidemics.

Fifthly, we support the need for a more effective investment in disaster risk management. The new framework should also clearly emphasise the contribution of disaster risk management to innovation, job creation and sustainable growth

The mobilisation of all resources as well as their effective use will be vital for the successful implementation of the framework. We need to make sure that the Financing for Development negotiation track set for July, in Addis Ababa remains the main forum to settle these issues.

Finally, several concomitant milestone events will take place in the next months leading to global frameworks that will define our collective priorities for years to come. The succession of, inter alia, the Sendai Conference, the July Addis Conference, the September Post-2015 Summit and the December Paris Climate Conference, as well as the World Humanitarian Summit next year offer the international community a great opportunity to ensure a coherent international framework for action.

This should be further reflected at operational level and will involve coordinated action and advocacy to partners and stakeholders across these processes.

All countries have shared challenges in the face of disasters and the Member States of the EU are not spared. Ownership at appropriate levels will be of key importance for the implementation of the framework.

The EU and its Member States are determined to continue playing an active role in the implementation of the new framework and stand ready to engage in an open and constructive dialogue with all partners and stakeholders.