UN/ISDR Global Platform Sets Specific Targets for Disaster Risk Reduction

© ENB19 June 2009: The second session of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction convened from 16-19 June 2009 in Geneva, Switzerland, and concluded with a call to halve disaster-related deaths by 2015.

Approximately 1,785 participants attended the session, including representatives from over 140 governments, 54 intergovernmental organizations, including UN specialized agencies, and 43 NGOs. Key outcomes of the meeting included a Chair's Summary and specific disaster-related targets.

The Chair's Summary recognizes that the process of disaster risk reduction (DRR) has been driven from the local level with the leadership increasingly coming from the global South. The Chair's Summary will help set the agenda for the global DRR community to prepare for its mid-term review and the UN climate change negotiations in Copenhagen in December 2009. Specific targets identified include: by 2010, the establishment of clear national and international financial commitments to DRR, for example to allocate a minimum of 10% of all humanitarian and reconstruction funding, at least 1% of development funding, and at least 30% of climate change adaptation funding to DRR; by 2011, a global structural evaluation of all schools and hospitals and by 2015 the development and implementation of firm action plans for safer schools and hospitals in all disaster-prone countries with DRR included in all school curricula by the same year; and by 2015, all major cities in disaster-prone areas to include and enforce DRR measures in their building and land-use codes.

John Holmes, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, highlighted that the “overwhelming view of the Global Platform is that DRR must be a concrete part of the deal on climate change that is sealed at the UN Climate Change Conference in December 2009.” He also stressed that national disaster risk and climate change adaptation authorities needed to “act quickly” on policy harmonization and identifying collaborative programmes for the post-Copenhagen era. [UNISDR Press Release][IISDRS Coverage]