ECO Secretariat attended the UN Partnership Meeting on Disaster Risk Reduction

The “ISDR Asia Partnership Meeting”  (IAP) was organized by UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific on 5-7 April in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. At the invitation of the UNISDR, ECO Secretariat attended the Meeting. IAP 2017 was the first regional meeting since the Asia Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR) 2016 in New Delhi, India.

The IAP is a multi-stakeholder forum with the role of facilitating the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 in the Asia region. The main focus of this IAP Meeting was to discuss the substantive and logistical preparations for the next Asia Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR) scheduled to be held in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia on 16-19 July 2018.

The IAP attracted 20 governments as well as representatives from inter-governmental organizations including ASEAN, SAARC and ECO; United Nations bodies; NGOs and civil society organizations; private sector; scientific and academic community and media, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Associations (IFRC), etc. who engaged in developing technical and strategic input to next AMCDRR meeting. The participants also discussed the main achievements reached under the Asia Regional Plan since November 2016.

At the opening session, the Deputy Prime Minister of Mongolia, Mr. Khurelsukh Ukhnaa, highlighted that it was vital for countries and cities across the Asia, the world’s most hazard-prone region, to develop or redraft national and local disaster risk reduction plans in line with the Sendai Framework to save lives and protect development gains. He outlined how Mongolia has drafted its 2020 Strategy for the Implementation Plan of the Sendai Framework, which “the government sees as part of its commitment to meet the goal.

The UN Secretary General’s Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction, Mr. Robert Glasser, expressed that “I recognize Mongolia as one of the countries, which are putting efforts into actions in the field of disaster risk reduction. One proof of this would be the fact that Mongolian parliament has recently revised its Law on Disaster Safety”. He also expressed gratitude for Mongolia’s commitment for agreeing to host the next Asian Ministerial Conference at home and said “I am very impressed by the strategic thinking on disaster risk reduction of the Government and, in particular, the Deputy Prime Minister. For instance, they rightly identify greater urban disaster resilience and effective public-private partnerships as among the most important elements for the successful implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction in Asia.”

In his statement as well as interventions in the deliberations of the Meeting, Mr. Javad Heidari from the ECO Secretariat shared with the participants information about the disaster-related situations in the ECO Region and briefed them on some developments in ECO Region after the adoption of the “Asia Regional Plan”, including developing ECO Regional Framework for implementation of the Sendai Framework for disaster risk reduction and an ESCAP-ECO joint mission to Afghanistan in February 2017.

Representative of the ECO Secretariat also had informal discussions with representatives from ECO Member States, UN bodies and international and regional organizations on possible technical and capacity building cooperation on the disaster risk reduction matters and implementation of the Sendai Framework. In discussion with ASEAN representative, he also proposed dialogue between ECO and ASEAN secretariats for possible inter-regional cooperation platform.