United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction
The UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) was established in 1999 to facilitate the implementation of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR). It was created to be the focal point in the United Nations system for the coordination of disaster risk reduction, and ensures synergies among the relevant activities of United Nations agencies and regional organisations, and related activities in socio-economic and humanitarian fields.
UNDRR’s current mandate was set down in UN General Assembly Resolution 69/283, adopted in June 2015. It is tasked with supporting the implementation, follow-up and review of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, including by fostering coherence with other international instruments, such as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals, as well as the Paris Agreement on climate change. As such, UNDRR champions and supports the integration of disaster risk management across different areas of work of the United Nations and of its Members States as well as among a broad range of key stakeholders, including the private sector and civil society.
Prior to the adoption of the Sendai Framework in March 2015, UNDRR’s role had been to support the implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015: Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disasters. UNDRR also organises the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction, a mandate set in UN General Assembly Resolution 61/198.
UNDRR has its headquarters in Geneva (Switzerland) and implements its mandate through five offices in the Asia-Pacific region (Bangkok), Africa (Nairobi), Europe (Brussels), Arab States (Cairo) and Latin America and the Caribbean (Panama). Its Office for Northeast Asia and Global Education and Training Institute is located in Incheon (Republic of Korea). UNDRR also maintains a UN Headquarters liaison office in New York, and presences in Bonn (Germany), Kobe (Japan), Suva (Fiji), Almaty (Kazakhstan) and Rio (Brazil).
To carry out its mandate, UNDRR’s vision is articulated in line with the Sendai Framework, as the "substantial reduction of disaster losses and risk for a sustainable future".
The vision builds on UNDRR’s significant track record of expertise and accomplishments under the Hyogo Framework for Action, from 2005 to 2015. These include the successful establishment and leadership of regional and global coordinating and review mechanisms for disaster risk reduction; ongoing support to countries, intergovernmental processes, and key stakeholders, by providing relevant risk information, decision-making support tools and policy guidance; catalysing multi-stakeholder engagement in disaster risk reduction, including the private sector, parliamentarians and civil society; fostering gender-sensitive disaster risk reduction; and effective global advocacy.
The desired impact and long-term objective of UNDRR’s work is the "prevention of new and reduction of existing disaster risk and strengthening resilience", corresponding with the goal of the Sendai Framework.
A number of conditions will need to be created and sustained in order for UNDRR to deliver on its mandate and achieve its vision, including:
• an engaged and active international community – including governments and key policy makers, the UN system and international and regional organisations, international and regional development banks, parliamentarians, the private sector, civil society, and the science and technology community – that understands and is committed to disaster risk reduction as a strategic approach to achieve sustainable development;
• the ability and practice of countries to align their national priorities, strategies and plans – as well as the related monitoring and review mechanisms – to relevant international frameworks, in particular for disaster risk reduction, sustainable development and climate change adaptation and mitigation;
• a change in decision-making processes, policies and practices of governments, private sector and other key actors to make them truly risk-informed, which implies access to risk information and knowledge that is context-specific, appropriate and accurate;
• an all-of-society engagement and partnership, guided by the principle that governments, parliamentarians, civil society and community groups, international organisations, the private sector, members of the science and technology community, and other key stakeholders jointly engage in disaster risk reduction and act as important contributors to understanding risk and as advocates for risk-informed development;
• a continued commitment to making disaster risk reduction gender- and age- sensitive and inclusive of all stakeholders, including persons with disabilities.
UNDRR commits to enabling and fostering these conditions through three Strategic Objectives, set in its 2016-2021 Strategic Framework:
• Strengthen global monitoring, analysis and coordination of Sendai Framework implementation
• Support to regional and national Sendai Framework implementation
• Catalyse action through Member States and Partners
Monitoring and reporting progress in disaster risk reduction creates a virtuous cycle of knowledge and evidence generation and application for improved policy and practice, which forms the backbone and underlying rationale of UNDRR’s engagement across all its Strategic Objectives. Supporting countries in generating risk data and information, and regular monitoring and reporting on disaster loss, risk and risk reduction practice, create the basis for analysis and evidence. Through a positive feedback loop, this evidence informs global and regional processes in disaster risk reduction, such as the Global and Regional Platforms for Disaster Risk Reduction, which in turn inform national practice. It also is the basis for coherence with international processes on sustainable development and climate change, in particular the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on climate change. Importantly, the analysis and evidence feeds directly back into improved national implementation in the form of accessible risk knowledge, tools and capacity building.
The Sendai Framework Voluntary Commitments (SFVC) online platform allows stakeholders to inform the public about their work on DRR. The SFVC online platform is a useful toolto know who is doing what and where for the implementation of the Sendai Framework, which could foster potential collaboration among stakeholders. All stakeholders (private sector, civil society organizations, academia, media, local governments, etc.) working on DRR can submit their commitments and report on their progress and deliverables.
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