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UN/ISDR Holds Briefing on Preparations for Third Session of the Global Platform for DRR

21 March 2011: Co-organized by the Permanent Missions of Mexico and Norway to the UN, together with the Secretariat of the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UN/ISDR), a Briefing on the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction – Mid-term Review of the Hyogo Framework for Action and Preparations for the Third Session of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) – took place on 21 March 2011, at UN Headquarters in New York, US.

Margareta Wahlström, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for DRR, outlined preparations for the Global Platform, which will take place from 8-13 May 2011, in Geneva, Switzerland. Prior to the formal opening of the event on 10 May, which will feature the participation of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, two days of key preparatory, donor, intergovernmental and coordination meetings will be held on 8 and 9 May.

Under the theme “Invest Today for a Safer Tomorrow – Increased Investment in Local Action,” the Global Platform will consist of: an opening and closing ceremony; three main plenary events; 10 high-level roundtables; 25 side events; and a number of sessions as part of the World Reconstruction Conference taking place during the event. The Global Platform will also be an important venue to assess the 2011 Global Assessment Report, which will be officially launched during the week, as well as an opportunity to discuss the recently published Mid-Term Review of the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015.

General findings from the review show that the Hyogo Framework for Action has played a decisive role in promoting disaster risk reduction across international, national and local agendas. At the international level, there have been a number of high-level forums to discuss the issue, including an informal thematic debate held under the auspices of the president of the UNGA and an outcome statement from the MDG Review Summit. At the national level, many countries have enacted legislation and policy to address disaster risk, and there has been an increase in the number of national, regional and sub-regional platforms for disaster risk reduction established.

There will be a need to discuss a successor framework for disaster risk reduction when the Hyogo Framework for Action ends in 2015. According to the mid-term review, such a framework needs to be based on solid and structural links with international sustainable development and climate change agreements. Whether such a post-Hyogo Framework for Action should be legally binding or not is an issue for further discussion, especially at the upcoming Global Platform.

The outcome of the Global Platform will be a Chair's Summary, which will cover critical issues and recommendations by all stakeholders, and will help set the agenda for the global disaster risk reduction community in the short term. [IISD RS Sources] [Climate Change Policy and Practice Story on the Launch of the Mid-Term Review of the Hyogo Framework]