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World conference adopts framework for disaster risk reduction

Update: March, 20/2015 - 15:10

SENDAI, Japan (VNS) — Representatives from 187 UN member states on Wednesday adopted the first major agreement on the post-2015 development agenda.

The agreement provides a far-reaching new framework for disaster risk reduction with seven targets and four action priorities.

Conference President and Minister of State for Disaster Management of Japan Eriko Yamatani announced the agreement on the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, the new international framework for disaster risk reduction, following a marathon final round of negotiations that lasted more than 30 hours.

Margareta Wahlstrom, the Secretary-General's Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction and head of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, said the adoption of the new framework opened a major new chapter in sustainable development, as it outlined clear targets and priorities for action that would lead to substantial reduction of disaster risks and losses in lives, livelihoods and health.

"Implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction over the next 15 years will require strong commitment and political leadership, and will be vital to the achievement of future agreements on sustainable development goals and climate later this year. As the UN Secretary-General said here on the opening day, sustainability starts in Sendai," she said.

The framework outlines seven global targets to be achieved over the next 15 years: a substantial reduction in global disaster mortality; a substantial reduction in the numbers of affected people; a reduction in economic losses in relation to global GDP; substantial reduction in disaster damage to critical infrastructure and disruption of basic services, including health and education facilities; an increase in the number of countries with national and local disaster risk reduction strategies by 2020; enhanced international co-operation; and increased access to multi-hazard early-warning systems and disaster risk information and assessments.

"Japan's special relationship with the global disaster risk reduction community has been strengthened by the outcome of this world conference. Successful implementation of this new framework will mean a reduction of existing levels of disaster risk and avoidance of the creation of new risks," Yamatani said.

Held in Sendai, Japan, from March 14 to 18, the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction was attended by more than 6,500 participants, including 2,800 government representatives from 187 nations. — VNS

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