Red Cross and Red Crescent at the 6th Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction

Publié: 26 juin 2014 9:57 CET

The Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) 2005-2015: Building the resilience of nations and communities to disasters, is approaching the end of its current time frame. At the 6th AMCDRR in Bangkok from 24-26 June, more than 25 National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies joined the official delegation of the IFRC, and were deeply involved in panels and side events providing key contributions from the Asia-Pacific region for the HFA2 discussions which will take place in Sendai, Japan in 2015.

After three days of thoughtful dialogue, the 6th AMCDRR closed today with the Bangkok declaration on DRR in Asia and the Pacific on behalf of more than 3,000 participants. The declaration stated seven calls to action for governments and stakeholders to commit to on the path to HFA2:

1. To enhance resilience at local levels

2. To improve public investments for disaster and climate risk management to sustain development gains

3. To increase public and private partnerships in disaster risk reduction (DRR)

4. To promote further use of science and technology and innovation in DRR

5. To enhance DRR governance, transparency and accountability

6. To contribute to the global deliberations on the post-2015 framework for DRR through the development of an ‘Asia Pacific regional HFA2 implementation plan’

7. To build coherence between the post-2015 framework for DRR and current processes on the sustainable development goals and climate change arrangements.

To support the achievement of the commitments outlined above, 10 stakeholder groups – ranging from parliamentarians to media to science and academia – made voluntary commitments on the path to HFA2, most notably the IFRC represented by Muhammed Ateeb Siddiqui, Deputy Secretary General of the Pakistan Red Crescent.

The IFRC’s voluntary commitment at AMCDRR committed Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies across Asia to enhancing resilience at local levels with programs that bridge gaps between development and humanitarian work, for example in DRR, health, shelter, livelihoods, and climate change adaptation. The IFRC also committed to supporting communities in high risk areas, advocating for silent disasters and the development and implementation of disaster laws, increasing public and private partnerships for DRR, as well as identifying indicators for future monitoring among other actions. For example, the IFRC committed that 20 National Societies in Asia will establish long term resilience programs reaching at least two million people each year, and that 15 National Societies will have formal agreements with their governments in playing a key role in national and regional DRR.

Earlier in the week, while chairing the first technical session on enhancing resilience at local levels at the 6th AMCDRR, Jagan Chapagain, Director of IFRC Asia Pacific Zone said: “When disaster strikes, it doesn’t matter to beneficiaries whether it’s IFRC or UN or someone else responding; they just need support. We must be more integrated. We must not simply allocate responsibilities in implementing DRR, but also resources supported by policies and laws that can be enforced.” Chapagain also provided a technical report to the afternoon plenary highlighting key points on DRR including the integration of policies and programs with the involvement of all segments of communities, the importance to buy-in to support local community development and the role of laws.

The Red Cross Red Crescent delegation used the conference as a platform to deliver its position on various subjects, with the underlying message to integrate disaster risk reduction at all levels of government and community collaboration. On behalf of over 1,000 young people who participated in DRR dialogues, Thai Red Cross youth volunteer Sasinat Chindapol gave recommendations for AMCDRR commitments. She called upon governments to ensure access to basic social services, build safe communities, make schools safe, incorporate DRR education into curriculum, promote environmental protection and good governance. She closed by saying, “Protecting youth protects the future”. Nepal Red Cross youth volunteers, Salina Nagarkoti and Aadarsha Kandel, outlined the importance of inculcating DRR into school curriculums and explained how Disaster Learning Centers and School Safety clubs enable Nepalese students (with Disaster Management training) to transfer their knowledge and educate their peers through drills, education books and first aid training. 

A press conference to mark the launch of a joint IFRC-UNDP report was held and attended by media from countries including Vietnam, the Philippines, India and Thailand. The report – Effective law and regulation for disaster-risk reduction – outlines the progress made in disaster legislation in 31 countries. Tessa Kelly, coordinator of the IFRC Disaster Law Programme for Asia Pacific reminded media that the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement is not only involved in emergency response but is also engaged in advocacy efforts with governments.