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    • ECO Secretariat attended the 5th UN Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction
       ECO Secretariat attended the 5th UN Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction
      The 5th Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction was held from 21-26 May 2017 in Cancun, Mexico. The Meeting was the first global event since the adoption of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction at the UN World Conference in March 2015 in Sendai, Japan. The High Level segment of the Global Platform was attended by delegates from 189 countries including Heads of State/Government, Ministers and high level officials as well as authorities from the UN System, intergovernmental organizations, NGOs and other stakeholders. At the invitation by UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), ECO delegation composed of Mr. Ugur Kilicarslan, ECO Director for Human Resources and Sustainable Development (HRSD) and Mr. Javad Heidari, HRSD Programme Officer also attended the Event.
      President of Mexico, H.E. Mr. Enrique Peña Nieto formally inaugurated the Event. He welcomed participants and said disasters have no borders and there is nothing more important than protecting human life and Mexico is fortunate to have strong national civil protection system in place. “The most important thing we have learned is to act in a preventive manner and to be prepared in light of unexpected events”, he said.
      In her opening remarks, United Nations Deputy Secretary-General, Ms. Amine Mohammed explained the adoption of the Sendai Framework as a remarkable achievement and informed the Meeting that mortality for certain hazards has dropped and the likelihood of mega-disasters had greatly diminished in many countries thanks to stronger institutions, robust legislation and policy frameworks, better preparedness, improved early warning systems, a greater understanding of disaster risk, increased engagement with civil society and more accountability for man-made hazards. She recalled that all regions in the world have all agreed and adopted plans to implement the Sendai Framework with a clear focus on shifting the paradigm from managing disasters to managing disaster risk.
      In his introductory remarks, Mr. Robert Glasser, the Head of UNISDR, gave an overview on the way gone since UN Conference in Sendai in March 2015 and highlighted the challenges of putting in place national and local strategies for disaster risk reduction by 2020 as called for by the Sendai Framework. "We will look at how we can learn from best practices in integrating actions on climate and disaster risk so that disaster risk reduction efforts support the overall achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, especially efforts to reduce poverty", he said.
      During the Event and its thematic and featured panels, representatives of the participating countries and organizations deliberated on ways and means to implement the Sendai Framework in the years to come. The coherence and interlinkage between disaster risk reduction, sustainable development and climate change was also discussed in the main panels and side events.
      ECO Director for Human Resources and Sustainable Development, Mr. Ugur Kilicarslan, in his statement in the plenary session of the Meeting briefed about disaster situation in the ECO Region and introduced the draft ECO Regional Framework for DRR which had been developed in the Expert Group Meeting in October 2016 in Tehran. Mr. Kilicarslan further underscored the partnerships developed by ECO with UN relevant bodies such as UNISDR, UNESCAP, UNHABITAT and UNESCO and highlighted the need to foster collaborative partnerships among regional organizations to drive the global disaster resilience agenda.
      The 2017 Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction was concluded with adoption of “Cancun Communiqué”. The Cancun Communiqué has called for accelerated efforts to ensure all countries systematically account for disaster losses by 2020, the deadline set out in the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction for all countries to have strategies in place to reduce disaster losses.
      The Mexican Interior Minister, Mr. Miguel Angel Osorio Chong, also summarized the key recommendations of 5th Global Platform including improved support for the preparation of national disaster loss databases; early warning systems for least developed countries; empowerment of local authorities to manage disaster risk; application of disaster risk management to overall economic planning; and the empowerment of women in leadership on disaster risk management.
      The 6th Global Platform will be held in Geneva, Switzerland in 2019.
      ECO delegation in other meetings
      i. CASC meeting
      ECO delegation also attended a side event on DRR Regional Platform for Central Asia and South Caucasus (CASC) on 23 May 2017. The Meeting was chaired by H.E. Mr. Rustam Nazarzoda, the Chairman of the Committee of Emergency Situations of Tajikistan. Ms. Paola Albrito the Head of UNISDR Regional Office for Europe and some ECO Member States of CASC region, namely Republic of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan participated in the meeting. Ms. Albrito gave an overview on the implementation of Sendai Framework and elaborated on the importance of resilience and national strategy for implementation of the Sendai Framework. She referred to the 2020 target (Target e) within Sendai Framework for approval and implementation of national strategies for DRR and highlighted the importance of regional cooperation for fostering this target.
      Mr. Ugur Kilicarslan, ECO Director for HRSD also briefed the CASC Meeting about ECO and introduced the emerging ECO Regional Framework for DRR. He particularly reminded that 6 countries of CASC Region are ECO Member States which justifies the merit for UNSIDR-ECO potential cooperation within the Region.
      In the Meeting, member countries presented their activities regarding the national strategies and plans for DRR in line with the Sendai targets and indicators and towards achieving 2020 target. Ms. Madhavi Ariyabandu, the former Head of Sub-Regional Coordinator of UNISDR for Central Asia and South Caucasus also reviewed the implementation of the Plan of Action for the CASC region to achieve the Target 2020 of the Sendai Framework and introduced changes for portfolio of the CASC region.
      ii. Bilateral talks
      In a brief talks with Mr. Robert Glasser, the Head of UNISDR, the ECO delegation conveyed the ECO readiness to work with the UNISDR for the interest of the Member States.
      ECO delegation also met with Mr. Fatih Ozer, vice President of Turkish Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) on the sidelines of Global Platform and discussed the future cooperation including the organization of the 2nd Experts Group Meeting and 8th ECO Ministerial Conference for DRR in Turkey in 2017.
      In a Meeting with Mr. Bill Ho, the Head of Information Technology and Communication Department of Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC), two sides exchanged views and information with a view to identifying areas of bilateral cooperation especially in the area of capacity building and training in the years to come. Mr. Ho also expressed interest for a possible MoU between two organizations.
      ECO Delegation also met with Mr. Sujit Mohanty, Officer-in-Charge of UNISDR-Asia and Pacific and discussed ways and means for enhancing the existing bilateral cooperation.
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