India to host Asia Partnership meeting on Disaster Risk Reduction next month

NEW DELHI: The Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India in collaboration with the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction, UN-ISDR) will host the 2nd ISDR Asia Partnership (IAP) meeting in New Delhi on November 17-19, 2015.

The main focus of the three-day IAP meeting will be to discuss the substantive preparation of the Asia Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR), 2016 to be held in New Delhi on November 14-17 next year. The IAP meeting will also provide an opportunity to discuss substantive issues related to the implementation of the Sendai framework at the regional, national and local level.

The IAP has been the main consultation forum for the regional platform AMCDRR in Asia. The partnership comprises of a wide range of multi-stakeholder members that includes representatives of national governments mainly Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) focal points/ Sendai Framework focal points), organizations part of the key stakeholders groups, sub-regional inter-governmental organizations, International Financial Institutions (IFIs), bilateral donors, UN and International organizations, civil society organizations, media and so on. The partnership has been an informal multi-stakeholder forum with the role to facilitate implementation of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and the HFA 2005-15 (HFA) and now the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 in the Asia region. The IAP launched in 2004 and subsequently expanded in 2007 to act as the support mechanism for the Asia Regional Platform for DRR and has been meeting twice a year.

The fundamental role of the IAP so far has been to support the political leadership of the regional platform through series of Asia Ministerial Conferences (AMC- DRR); to support the biennial progress review of the HFA implementation; and to improve regional coordination and coherence through regional experience sharing. With the advent of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, the IAP members have also voiced the need for transformation of the IAP to support the implementation of the Sendai Framework through regional platforms and periodic review of the progress in the implementation of the Sendai Framework.

In order to strengthen disaster risk governance to manage disaster risk, the Sendai frameworks calls on governments and stakeholders to actively engage in the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction, the regional and sub-regional platforms for disaster risk reduction and the thematic platforms in order to forge partnerships, periodically assess progress on implementation and share practice and knowledge on disaster risk-informed policies, programmes and investments, including on development and climate issues, as appropriate, as well as promote the integration of disaster risk management in other relevant sectors.

The 1st Asian Ministerial Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR) after the introduction of the Sendai Framework will be hosted by the Government of India in November 2016. As a follow up from the 6th Asian Ministerial Conference outcome and as a requirement of the Sendai Framework implementation, the intended outcome of the AMCDRR in 2016 will be to ensure a political endorsement of an ‘Asia Regional plan for implementation of the Sendai Framework’. The IAP forum will mainly work as the regional consultation mechanism and provide technical input for the preparation of the AMCDRR 2016 and development of the regional plan.

The AMCDRR is a biennial conference jointly organized by different Asian countries and the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR). The event represents a unique opportunity for governments to reaffirm their political commitments in implementation of the HFA. The AMCDRR also serves as a forum for other stakeholders to take a shared responsibility and make actionable commitments towards implementation of DRR. At the same time the conference also provides opportunity for all governments and stakeholders to exchange experiences on successful practices and innovative approaches in reducing and managing disaster risk. So far, countries in Asia in collaboration with UNISDR have organized six AMCDRR conferences since 2005. Previous hosts were Beijing, People’s Republic of China (2005); New Delhi, Republic of India (2007); Kuala Lumpur, Federation of Malaysia (2008); Incheon, Republic of Korea (2010); Yogyakarta, Republic of Indonesia (2012); and Bangkok, Kingdom of Thailand (2014).

The “Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030” was adopted during the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction held in Sendai, Japan on 14-18 March, 2015 where India was represented by the Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh. The implementation of the Sendai Framework involves adopting integrated and inclusive institutional measures so as to work towards preventing vulnerability to disaster, increase preparedness for response and recovery and strengthen resilience. This requires a shift from standalone disaster management or risk management to more holistic risk resilient development practice. This shift of thinking and action from risk management to disaster risk resilient development requires support of regional and international cooperation and thus need to be incorporated in the architecture and thinking of the regional platforms/ ministerial conferences.

With the above context and aim of setting a future policy direction towards implementation of the Sendai Framework in Asia, the Asia leaders’ meeting will bring together Ministers from the countries that have hosted the AMCDRR during 2005 to 2014, namely People’s Republic of China, Republic of India, Federation of Malaysia, Republic of Korea, Republic of Indonesia, Kingdom of Thailand and also from Mongolia as the host of Asian Ministerial Conference in 2018 and Japan as the host of the 3rd World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction.

The AMCDRR meeting will be co-chaired by Shri Kiren Rijiju, Minister of State for Home Affairs of India as host of the next Asia Ministerial Conference on DRR in 2016 and United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction, Ms Margareta Wahlstrom.

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