Disaster risk reduction and sustainable development

United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction
Inter-Parliamentary Union
12.30 – 2.30 p.m. Gardenia Hall, ground floor, Imperial Royale Hotel

This event is part of the Inter-parliamentary Union 126th Assembly and related meetings.

With climate change and unsustainable development practices accentuating disaster risk, disaster risk reduction has become critical to breaking the cycle of unsustainable development. Preparations for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio +20), to be held in Rio de Janeiro in June 2012 are well under way, with the active participation of governments, UN agencies and civil society. The overall objective of the event is to agree a new institutional and development framework to help make our societies greener, more resilient and more sustainable.

While improving the effectiveness of disaster response and recovery, governments are increasingly recognizing that disaster risk reduction is crucial to sustainable development. More commitment and action to disaster risk reduction will accelerate development, protect investments and reduce poverty. This was reflected in the conclusions of the 2010 MDG Review Summit, the 2011 Istanbul Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries, and the 2011 Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction. Ahead of Rio +20, more needs to be done to secure both political and financial investment in disaster risk reduction as a core component of sustainable development.
Similarly, governments are becoming increasingly aware of the need for enhanced international cooperation in disaster response. Even though international response operations are on the rise, few States have clear rules and procedures in place to facilitate and regulate international help. This has often led to unnecessary delays, expenses and confusion, and has undermined the quality and effectiveness of humanitarian aid. In 2011, the State parties to the Geneva Conventions welcomed the efforts of the IPU, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs to develop relevant model legislation based on the internationally accepted "Guidelines for the Domestic Facilitation and Regulation of International Disaster Relief and Initial Recovery Assistance."

The panel discussion will offer an opportunity to share views and experiences on the linkages between disasters, development and risk reduction. More specifically, it will offer members of parliaments an opportunity to learn more about the Model Act for the facilitation and regulation of international disaster relief and initial recovery assistance and the Global Resilient City Campaign.

The event will also seek to foster debate on issues related to how disasters derail development progress, how development without risk assessment increases risk and heightens the vulnerabilities of communities, and how disaster risk reduction helps protect lives and livelihoods and accelerates the sustainable development process. It will also address the role parliamentarians can play in creating a solid legislative basis for disaster management, as well as in the broader process leading up to Rio+20 later this year.

Moderator: Mr. Alex Byarugaba, Chairperson of the Foreign Affairs Committee and the Disaster Risk Reduction Forum of the Parliament of Uganda
Rapporteur: Ms. Saumura Tioulong, Member of the Parliament of Cambodia


- Mr. Rony Araúz, Deputy Speaker, National Assembly of Panama
- Mr. Saber Chowdhury, Member of the Parliament of Bangladesh and President of the
IPU First Standing Committee on Peace and International Security
- Mr. Yoshitaka Murata, Member of the House of Representatives of Japan, former Minister
of State Disaster Management
- Mr. Abdirahin Abdi, Speaker of the East African Legislative Assembly
- Ms. Feng Min Kan, Special Adviser to UN Assistant Secretary-General for Disaster Risk
Reduction, UNISDR
- Ms. Sanne Boswijk, Disaster Law Delegate for Africa, International Federation of the Red Cross

Question-and-answer session

Light refreshments will be served

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