UN calls for governments to make disaster risk reduction an integral part of long-term development plansListen /
Building a more resilient Asia-Pacific is the key focus of a three-day meeting that began Wednesday at the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) in Bangkok, Thailand, bringing together senior government officials from more than 25 countries.
In opening remarks, UN Under-Secretary-General and ESCAP Executive Secretary Dr. Noeleen Heyzer, acknowledged the destruction and desolation wrought by natural disasters noting that "Typhoon Haiyan killed thousands of children, women, and men, affecting millions of others," adding, "Once more, our poorest and most vulnerable communities have seen their hard-won development gains devastated by natural disasters."
She said "There will always be natural hazards," explaining that "Our Asia-Pacific experience shows that we should expect these in greater numbers, and greater strength, in years to come. However, hazards become disasters in the absence of development, and without adequate investment in risk reduction."
Dr. Heyzer suggested that "For greater resilience to become a reality, governments need to make disaster risk reduction an integral part of longer-term development plans, across multiple sectors."
Convened by ESCAP as part of a series of events on disaster risk reduction this week, the Third Session of the Committee on Disaster Reduction brings together policymakers and experts to discuss how to integrate disaster risk reduction into development plans, poverty reduction strategies and budgets across all levels of governments.
Donn Bobb, United Nations.