Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh says paradigm shift in disaster management from relief centric to a holistic one
UN confers Shri Kiren Rijiju with Disaster Risk Reduction Asia Champion honour
Shri Rajnath Singh said Shri Rijiju’s constant efforts have resulted into recognition of India as DRR regional Champion by the United Nations
Asia Leaders’ Meeting towards Implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction in Asia and 2nd ISDR Asia Partnership (IAP) meeting of 2015 begins
Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh has said that India has moved ahead from disaster mitigation to risk reduction. Addressing the inaugural session of the Asia Leaders’ Meeting towards Implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction in Asia and 2nd International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) Asia Partnership (IAP) meeting of 2015 here today, Shri Rajnath Singh said that multi-dimensional aspects of disaster related risks should be dealt with affirmative action.
During the inaugural session, Ms. Margarete Wahlstrom, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General for Disaster Risk Reduction, conferred the Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Shri Kiren Rijiju, as the Asia Leader for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) on behalf of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR). Shri Rijiju was conferred as the first regional champion for DRR after the Sendai Agreement, giving an impetus to Government of India’s efforts to facilitate regional support towards enabling community resilience in the Asia-Pacific region.
The function was attended by Ministers from China, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mongolia, South Korea and Thailand, delegates from various countries and international organizations.
Accepting the honour, Shri Rijiju said: “This recognition is an onerous responsibility on India and in my personal capacity to make India, Asia-Pacific and the world as a whole safer and better prepared to deal with any disaster.”
“We recognize the importance of including disaster and climate risk management as an integral part of developmental planning and programs to realize the global goals of sustainable development and poverty eradication,” he said.
Shri Rijiju said countries in the Asian region have been “building back better” in the face of inexorable disasters.
Lauding Shri Kiren Rijiju upon being conferred as the Asia Champion for DRR, Shri Rajnath Singh said his constant efforts have resulted into recognition of India as DRR regional Champion by the United Nations.
The Union Home Minister said India has been drawing the best practices around the World to improve its system and processes for Disaster Management. Our national policies include mainstreaming of disaster risk reduction and development programs, besides community resilience building, he added.
“We have been actively pursuing a paradigm shift in disaster management from a relief centric approach in the past to a holistic one, that encompasses preparedness, prevention, mitigation and risk reduction. We have established robust Institutional structures from National to provincial level with legislative back up and policy framework for enhancing our capabilities to reduce risk and loss to economy,” said Shri Rajnath Singh.
Calling upon all entities, public and private, to strengthen the international support mechanisms for disaster risk reduction by sharing of reliable and affordable modern technology for capacity-building, the Union Home Minister hoped the Asia Ministerial Meeting and IAP meeting will set the agenda for the First Asia Ministerial Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR) after the advent of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR) due be held in New Delhi in November next year.
“At the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction held in Sendai, Japan earlier this year, we committed to support a 15-year plan (2015-2030) of action with defined global targets and priorities under the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction,” he said.
Shri Rajnath Singh hoped the meeting would help devise future strategies for identification of risks, challenges and equal distribution of scarce resources ultimately contributing to achieve sustainable development goals.
“Systematic incorporation of risk mitigation, emergency preparedness and capacity building approaches into national policy framework and developmental programs would not only strengthen institutional mechanism but inculcate awareness among masses, in particular the law making entities,” he said.
The Union Home Minister said the ISDR Asia Partnership forum is a vital space for our governments to collectively reflect and share experiences on best practices and innovative solutions to implement disaster risk reduction effectively at national and local levels across the Asia region.
Earlier Shri Rijiju said that as partners, we can use this platform to collaborate on responsibilities and make actionable commitments towards implementation of our shared goal of disaster risk reduction.
“As Asia Leader, we will work toward converging individual efforts of member states into a larger inclusive and collaborative mechanism for recovery, rehabilitation and rebuilding of affected communities and assets,” he said.
Underlining that the Asia-Pacific region is the most disaster-prone area in the world, Shri Rijiju pointed out that many Asian countries have experienced fast economic growth over the last decades, which coupled with high population growth and rapid urbanisation, has exposed the large vulnerable population and their habitats as well as economic assets to hazards, creating huge risks of disasters which is further exacerbated by climate change.
Acknowledging the importance of private sector participation in disaster risk reduction, said the Global Assessment Report by UNISDR has highlighted the fact that the relationship between business investments practices and disaster risk reduction needs to be strengthened in order to reduce economic losses. In fact, ourNational Policy on Disaster Management too recognizes the role of private sector and encourages public- private partnerships for disaster risk reduction, he added.
Reiterating India’s commitment towards forging regional cooperation in the field of disaster risk reduction, Shri Rijiju said all the South Asian countries are working together to achieve the target of reduced disaster risk by promoting knowledge sharing among the SAARC countries. Citing capacity building by India over the years, Shri Rijiju said we are keen to share our expertise and help other countries in disaster response and capacity building as we did during Japan Earthquake in 2011.
“Development of scientific applications like Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS), the Tsunami Early Warning System (TEWS), which is a State-of-the-Art warning system, are benefitting not only India but also the littoral countries of Indian Ocean,” he said.
The Special Representative to the Secretary General of the United Nations, Ms. Margareta Wahlstrom, in her opening remarks, stressed the importance of regional partnerships as a foundation for the effective implementation of the SFDRR over the next 15 years and the need to make risk the DNA of all development plans, to integrate DRR in all development programmes and to have measurable indicators. A multi-hazard and mutli-sectoral approach needs to be adopted to reduce disaster risks, she said.
“Strengthening the resilience of communities, especially of marginalized and disadvantaged groups, to be able to build back better, will be critical for the realization of the SFDRR,” said Ms. Wahlstrom. “Given the high vulnerability of the Asian region to disasters, it is of paramount importance that countries in this region own and collaborate to implement a regional plan for DRR under the Sendai Framework,” she added.
During the day, Shri Kiren Rijiju moderated a session consolidating the insights and experiences from previous hosts of AMCDRRs. Mr. Zou Ming, the Vice Minister, Ministry of Civil Affairs, People’s Republic of China (host of the 1st AMCDRR in 2005), Mr. AHN Young Kyoo, Director General, Republic of Korea (host of 4th AMCDRR in 2010), Mr. Bernardus Wisnu, Deputy Chief, National Disaster Management Organization (BNPB) of Indonesia (host of the 5th AMCDRR in 2012), Mr. Chayaboi Thitisak, Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Interior, Royal Thai Government (host of 6th AMCDRR in 2014), Mr. Fumiaki Matsumoto, State Minister of Cabinet Office, Government of Japan (host of the 3rd UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in 2015), Mr. Tserendash Oyunbaatar, Deputy Prime Minister of Mongolia (host of 8th AMCDRR to be held in 2018) and Mr. Wais Ahmad Barmak, State Minister for Disaster Management Affairs and Chairman of ANDMA, Afghanistan, gave a presentation each of the DRR initiatives taken by their respective nations.
Making a presentation on the 1st AMCDRR pos-Sendai Regional Plan and other initiatives undertaken by the Government of India, Dr. P. K. Mishra, Additional Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, proposed six strategies for implementing the regional SFDRR plan, which include multi-hazard and multi-stakeholder inclusive approach, shared vision and collective responsibilities, making DRR a development practice, risk-sensitive private investments, building local capacity and foster local leadership, and working towards common outcomes through partnerships across all levels. He also stressed the need to take a conscious decision on whether to quantify outcome indicators in the regional plan and ensuring the financial feasibility of the plan.
“Building back better requires the convergence of several factors such as governance, risk management, convergence of resources, coordination and most significantly, political will,” he said.
The meeting wrapped up with the launch of the 7th AMCDRR website by Shri Kiren Rijiju, and a vote of thanks by the co-chairs.
The Asia Leaders’ Meeting was followed by the 2nd ISDR Asia Partnership (IAP) meeting of 2015, a key regional platform providing necessary consultation and technical support to implement the SFDRR 2015-2030, jointly organized by The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) and Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India.
The focus of the IAP meeting is to collectively set the policy direction for the implementation of the SFDRR in Asia and discuss substantive preparation for the seventh AMCDRR for the Asian Regional implementation plan of the SFDRR, scheduled to be held in New Delhi from November 14-17, 2016.
During the day, the members discussed Government’s updates for implementation of the Sendai Framework and priorities for the AMCDRR-2016 to be held in New Delhi. Shri RK Jain, Member Secretary, NDMA, Senior Officers from MHA and National Institute of Disaster Management attended the meeting.Government representatives of IAP member countries and key stakeholder organisations will continue to meet over the next two days in a series of consultations to share and ideate strategies around effective implementation of the SFDRR at the regional, national and local levels across the Asia region.
On the sidelines of the Conference, the Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh called on the Deputy Prime Minister of Mongolia, Mr. Tserendash Oyunbaatar. Shri Rajnath Singh said it is heartening to know that Mongolia would be hosting the 2nd Asia Leaders’ Meeting for Disaster Risk Reduction in 2018, taking over from India which will host the 1st such meeting in New Delhi next year. Shri Rajnath Singh also offered India’s expertise in tackling disasters and cooperation with Mongolia in Disaster Risk Reduction.