‘Disaster risk governance’ was announced today as the theme of this year’s International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction on 13 October 2020. This year, the world suffers from the great pain caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic.
The following statement is issued by the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres to mark the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction, October 13:
“The COVID-19 pandemic has brought renewed attention to the importance of strengthening disaster risk reduction.
“Many countries are facing multiple crises simultaneously. We will see more of this.
“Extreme weather events have risen dramatically over the past two decades.
“Yet, we have seen little progress on reducing climate disruption and environmental degradation.
“Bad situations only get worse without good disaster risk governance.
“Disaster risk isn’t the sole responsibility of local and national authorities.
“COVID-19 has shown us that systemic risk requires international cooperation.
“Good disaster risk governance means acting on science and evidence.
“And that requires political commitment at the highest level to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.
“To eradicate poverty and reduce the impacts of climate change, we must place the public good above all other considerations. For these reasons and more, this year’s International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction is all about strengthening disaster risk governance to build a safer and more resilient world.”
In a statement on 4 September, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction, Mami Mizutori, said:
“This year’s International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction is all about governance. You can measure good disaster risk governance in lives saved, reduced numbers of disaster-affected people and reduced economic losses. COVID-19 and the climate emergency are telling us that we need clear vision, plans and competent, empowered institutions acting on scientific evidence for the public good.
“This requires having national and local strategies for disaster risk reduction in place by the end of the year as agreed by UN member States when they adopted the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction in 2015. We need to see strategies which address not just single hazards like floods and storms but those that respond to systemic risk generated by zoonotic diseases, climate shocks and environmental breakdown.
“Good national and local strategies for disaster risk reduction must be multi-sectoral linking policies in areas such as land use, building codes, public health, education, agriculture, environmental protection, energy, water resources, poverty reduction and climate change adaptation.
“It’s time to raise our game if we want to leave a more resilient planet to future generations.”
IRDR will continute its duty on mobilizing science for DRR and development safety through international cooperation and multi-sectoral cooperation.