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Disaster risk reduction central to post-2015 development process – UN official

Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction, Margareta Wahlström.
UNISDR/Thomas Williams
Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction, Margareta Wahlström.

Disaster risk reduction central to post-2015 development process – UN official

The head of the United Nations office for disaster risk reduction today welcomed the link between poverty reduction and disaster risk reduction emphasized in a key report outlining a new framework to build on the anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The report, compiled by the High-Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, co-chaired by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of Indonesia, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia and Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom, was presented last week to Secretary-General with a focus on assisting the poorest and most marginalized, a disproportionate number of whom are women.

“The report puts reducing disaster risk centre stage in the Post-2015 Development Agenda debate,” said the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR), Margareta Wahlström.

The 27-member Panel that wrote the document called for the new post-2015 goals to drive five major transformational shifts, including a transition from “reducing” to “ending” extreme poverty, leaving no one behind; putting sustainable development at the core of the development agenda; and forging a new global partnership based on cooperation, equity and human rights.

In the report, the Panel wrote that “no one is more vulnerable than people in poverty to desertification, deforestation and overfishing, or less able to cope with floods, storms, and droughts. Natural disasters can pull them into a cycle of debt and illness, to further degradation of the land, and a fall deeper into poverty.”

Ms. Wahlström said the timing of the report is “especially welcome” as it reinforces the recommendations which came out of last month's 4th Global Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction.

“Both processes recognize that the economic and social costs of disasters impact disproportionately on the poor,” she added. “Determined and consistent risk management is vital to the realization of the High-Level Panel's goal of eradicating extreme poverty by 2030.”

Meanwhile, the president of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), Néstor Osorio, today highlighted the importance of renewed global partnerships in the creation of a post-2015 development agenda at an international forum in Ethiopia.

At the opening session of its high-level symposium in Addis Ababa, Mr. Osorio said the Development Cooperation Forum can help advance the substantive debate on global trends in development cooperation and serve as a forum for discussion.

“The main objective of the DCF in its current cycle is to advance a common understanding of what is needed to ensure development cooperation is fit for purpose for a post-2015 era,” Mr. Osorio told participants at the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) headquarters.

The DCF was mandated by the 2005 World Summit to engage all stakeholders in global dialogue on the effectiveness and coherence of development cooperation. This is the third high-level forum to be held since 2007.

The next will be held in July 2014 in New York, Mr. Osorio said.