Disaster risk reduction essential for Millennium Development Goals, says UN Deputy Secretary-General

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Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson at the International Conference Center in Geneva. [UN Photo/ Jean-Marc Ferré]

Disaster risk reduction is essential for achieving the anti-poverty goals set by world leaders in 2000 to be achieved by 2015.

That's what UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson said at the Fourth Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction meeting in Geneva on Tuesday.

Representatives of national and local governments, civil society, the private sector, international organizations, parliamentarians, scientists, and academia are participating in the meeting.

Mr. Eliasson said the diversity of participants shows the cross-cutting nature of disaster risk reduction and made the case for its importance in reaching the Millennium Development Goals to improve people's lives.

"There can be no sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation if water sources and latrines are vulnerable to natural hazards. Hospitals and other community structures must be resilient if we are to reach the goals on health. And it is not acceptable that so many people die in disasters because of weak and neglected building standards. We have seen several such tragic disasters in recent times." (25")

Deputy Secretary-General Eliasson said the meeting in Geneva is an opportunity to exchange ideas, build consensus, and mobilize political momentum ahead of a major global conference for disaster risk reduction.

That conference, he added, will hopefully adopt a practical vision of disaster risk reduction for the future.

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration: 1'22"

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