The Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) 2019 was hosted by Switzerland and took place from the 13th to the 17th of May in Geneva. UCLG played a strong role in this important gathering that reunites every two years the main stakeholders in DRR. More concrete, UCLG and its partners facilitated a full day consultation meeting of local and regional governments and an official session of the Global Platform on “Cities face Crises”.
The consultation meeting of local and regional governments took place on Tuesday 14th of May and functioned as preparatory meeting for the tree main days of the Global Platform. The gathering was hosted by the City of Geneva and co-organized by UCLG, UCLG ASPAC, UN-Habitat and UNDRR. For the opening, the mayor of Geneva Sami Kanaan welcomed all participants to his city and reiterated his engagement and commitment as leader of the UCLG Taskforce for Territorial Prevention and Management of Crises. Yannick Roulin, Ambassador to the Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the United Nations Office and to the other international organizations in Geneva stressed the importance of the participation of local authorities in events such as the Global Platform. Moreover, the participants were welcomed by Kirsi Madi, Director at UNDRR and Esteban Leon from UN-Habitat. Both of them recalled the importance of local and regional governments in DRR and the importance of the “Making Cities Resilient Campiagn”. Emilia Saiz – Secretary General of UCLG highlighted the role that UCLG has plaid in the international efforts to reduce disaster risk, looking back to the participation in the Hyogo Framework and the approval of the Sendai Framework in 2015 up to future action of the network.
The following panel discussions and inputs from participating cities provided good insights in the challenges faced and the progress made regarding disaster risk reduction at the local and regional level. An especial interest of the panels was the role of local and regional governments in the achievement of the Sendai Framework or in other words, its localization. Thanks to the inputs of the attendant cities such as Setubal, Sendai, Tegucigalpa, Mathosinos, Nouakchott, Christchurch and other high level experts a joined declaration could be formulated and approved. This declaration of local and regional governments was officially presented to the Global Platform by Fatimetou Abdel Malick, President of the Region of Nouakchott – Mauritania in a plenary session on the next day.
Moreover, UCLG in cooperation with UCLG ASPAC, UCLG Learning, the UCLG Taskforce for Territorial Prevention and Management of Crises, the city of Geneva, UN-Habitat and UNDRR facilitated on Wednesday 15th of May an official session of the Global Platform titled: “Cities face crises – a global approach for resilient cities”. The session gathered experts, local elected representatives, private sector actors and other stakeholders for an interactive discussion on how cities can further localize the Sendai Framework and be better prepared to face crises. Furthermore, the session served as opportunity to launch a video on the localization of the Sendai Framework that UCLG Learning produced together with UN-Habitat and UNDRR. This joined action will be just a first step and further collaboration for resilient cities through learning and cooperation are foreseen.
This year’s Global Platform for DRR pathed the way for action on all levels to increase resilience of all cities and territories. Disaster Risk Reduction is central for the livability of citizens and a basis for sustainable development. The achievement of the Sendai Framework is therefore strongly linked to the achievement of the SDGs and all other global agendas. UCLG as network of local and regional governments is committed to further contribute that these ambitious objectives will be achieved.
- Read the full declaration here.