UN ISDR - International Strategy for Disaster Reduction
The UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction was established in 1999 to facilitate the implementation of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR).
The UNISDR’s Office is located in Geneva and implements several actions thanks to its five regional offices located in Asia (Bangkok), Africa (Nairobi), Europe (Brussels), the Arab States (Cairo) and Latin America (Panama).
Objectives of the organisation:
The mission of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) is to reduce disaster losses and reinforce community and nation disaster-resistance.
Acknowledging the increasing danger posed by natural disasters, the ISDR committed to connecting governments and partners, to mobilising every individual and community, as well as supporting nation and community resilience-building to disasters and climate change impacts.
In January 2005, 168 Governments hence adopted the Hyogo Framework for Action during the World Disaster Reduction Conference, an action plan meant to reduce our collective vulnerability to natural hazards. This prevention strategy, United Nations’ main instrument to reduce disaster risks, focuses on three objectives:
- including risk reduction in sustainable development and planning policies
- developing institutions, mechanisms and capacities to strengthen resilience to natural hazards
- integrating risk reduction approaches in emergency planning, response and recovery programmes.
The UNISDR facilitates this implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) by raising awareness on the importance of disaster reduction. This action implies managing the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (Resolution 61/198 of the UN General Assembly), the main forum in this area. The Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction, which meets every two years, is the World Forum to accelerate the global momentum on disaster risk reduction.
Actions in the Pacific:
A side event organised during the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in September 2014 attracted the attention to the efforts made in the Pacific and advocated a regional coordination mechanism to supervise the implementation of the regional strategy. This event was organised by the Government of Tonga, in collaboration with the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), as well as the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR).
The strategy for a resilient development in the Pacific which brings together two main regional bodies of the Pacific region: The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) on climate change, and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) on disaster risk management now join forces with the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction to implement this strategy, regarded by the rest of the world as a model to expand.
Upcoming Conference: The Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (WCDRR) will be held from 14 to 18 March 2015 in Sendaï City, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan. Several thousands of participants are expected, including for surrounding events linked to the World Conference in view of strengthening the resilience of nations and communities to disasters, and adopting a post-2015 project for disaster risk reduction.
The previous conference convened by the United Nations General Assembly in Kobe in the Hyogo prefecture, Japan between 18 and 22 January 2005 had enabled the adoption of the “Hyogo Framework for Action” following the assessment on the progress made since the first Yokohama Conference in 1994.
Preparatory process: In its 2013 resolution n° 68/211, the United Nations General Assembly established a Preparatory Intergovernmental Committee whose task is to prepare the upcoming 2015 World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction at best.
The first session of the Preparatory Committee took place on 14 and 15 July 2014 and aimed to review the organisational preparations of the future Conference, to approve the Conference work programme and to propose procedural rules for the conference.
The varied proposals made by the States during the second session of the Preparatory Committee on Disaster Risk Reduction, which took place on 17 and 18 November 2014 in Geneva, then fostered the emergence of a common desire to set up a new project to come after the Hyogo Framework for Action. In fact, initially scheduled for a period of ten years until 2015, the second session of the Preparatory Committee is intended to prepare the post-2015 period and implement the work programme as agreed on during these November meetings. The proposals hence made in paragraphs 1 to 23 for the draft will form the basis of the pursuant negotiations to take place in December. A reference document consisting of a compiling of the proposals made by the States will be produced on 28 November.