After deadly earthquake, New Zealand stresses disaster preparedness at UN

27 September 2011

New Zealand today underlined the need for effective disaster preparedness and promised to share with the United Nations and other concerned organizations the lessons the country had learned from responding to the deadly earthquake that struck its second-largest city, Christchurch, in February.

“For regions as vulnerable as ours, disaster preparedness is no desktop exercise – it’s a matter of survival,” Jim McLay, New Zealand’s Permanent Representative to the UN, told the general debate of the General Assembly in New York.

The country’s Pacific neighbours are also threatened by the consequences of rising sea levels as a result of climate change, amid fears that whole populations could be on the move, with implications for international stability and security.

“Faced with that, it is self evident that all relevant international fora – including the Security Council – must play their part in addressing this challenge. That means effective action on emissions reduction,” Mr. McLay said.

“It means strengthening adaptation in developing countries, particularly the most vulnerable. And it means acknowledging and planning for security implications, before they become threats to regional and international security.”


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Asia-Pacific States agree at UN meeting to cooperate on disaster risk reduction

Ministers and senior government officials from 31 countries, meeting at a United Nations-supported conference in Bangkok, have agreed to work more closely together on disaster risk reduction and make it central to national development strategies, the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) reported today.