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IPU Adopts Resolution on Risk Resilient Development

Ipu21 March 2014: The 130th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) concluded with the adoption of a resolution on risk resilient development, which: underscores that “reducing disaster risk and protecting people's lives are the legal responsibility of all public representatives;” and urges members to enhance their oversight role and “take immediate action to review existing legislation related to disaster risk reduction (DRR).”

The resolution, titled 'Towards Risk-Resilient Development: Taking Into Consideration Demographic Trends and Natural Constraints,' was adopted by over 700 parliamentarians from 140 countries, which convened for the IPU Assembly from 16-10 March 2014, in Geneva, Switzerland. It contains 28 recommendations, urges governments to engage in discussions on the post-2015 development agenda and the post-2015 framework for DRR, and underscores the importance of an ambitious climate agreement that has legal force. The resolution points to demographic dynamics and climate change as significant drivers of disaster risk, stressing that they put additional pressures on natural resources and ecosystems and increase the vulnerability of communities.

Margareta Wahlström, UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for DRR, underlined that parliamentarians have a “unique platform for encouraging political commitment to reducing loss of life and economic losses from disasters.” Noting the collaboration generated by the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA), she stressed the importance of IPU and other stakeholders in the consultation process for the successor to the HFA that will be agreed at the World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in March 2015, and pointed to five emerging issues: interlinkages between climate change and disasters; concerns over the impacts of natural hazards on technology; inclusiveness; improving access to and availability of information as a means for sharing information; and the need to implement existing legislation.

Saber Chowdhury, a MP from Bangladesh, said the resolution would raise awareness about the need to build resilience through integrating DRR into development agendas. He said DRR was a “strategic entry point” for discussions on other issues, including poverty, food security, education, health and water.

The IPU, established in 1889, is the focal point for parliamentary dialogue globally and works for the establishment of representative democracy. [UNISDR Press Release, 19 March 2014] [IPU UNISDR Press Release, 21 March 2014] [130th IPU Assembly Website] [Publication: IPU Resolution: Towards Risk-Resilient Development: Taking Into Consideration Demographic Trends and Natural Constraints]