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SG to unveil first global assessment report on disaster risk reduction in Bahrain
14 May 2009 / 03:20

[Dateline: New York | Author: ISDR]

Secretary-General BAN Ki-moon will unveil the first Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction at a launch ceremony in Bahrain on Sunday, 17 May, hosted by the Kingdom's Prime Minister, Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa and attended by a range of regional and international dignitaries, including UN Messenger of Peace Her Royal Highness Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein of Jordan.

It is the first time that a major UN publication is launched in the Middle East and North Africa region.

The 200-page Report is a far-reaching, collaborative effort of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) partnership - whose work directly impacts on all people and communities at risk from disasters and climate change -  including the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the World Bank, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), World Meteorological Organization (WMO), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the ProVention Consortium, regional inter-governmental and technical institutions, national governments, civil society networks, academic/scientific institutions and many other specific contributors.

This landmark document is intended to focus international attention on the challenge and opportunities of disaster risk and to consolidate political and economic commitment to disaster risk reduction. It also offers government leaders and their advisers an extensive resource, brimming with technical and statistical analysis, and presenting clear-cut guidance on the essential actions needed to achieve a safer world in the face of burgeoning natural hazards.

A number of parallel activity streams, undertaken over an 18-month period, have contributed to the Report:

  • A global disaster risk analysis was carried out involving a major global effort by a large number of scientific and technical institutions.
  • An analysis of disaster risk at the local level was similarly based on a major coordinated effort by a large number of institutions to compile, update and validate data from national disaster databases in 12 countries. 
  • Specialized international research institutes were commissioned to produce a series of issue papers that provided the basis for an analysis of the underlying risk drivers that configure the disaster risk–poverty nexus in both rural and urban contexts.
  • A review of progress towards the achievement of the Hyogo Framework for Action  2005-2015: Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disasters (HFA) was completed by 62 countries (as of February 2009), against 22 core indicators and five benchmarks.  This review process not only highlighted the progress being made against the HFA, but also a range of innovative approaches and practices that address underlying risk drivers.

"Although this comprehensive report primarily targets Government leaders and their policy advisors, there is also a clear message that disaster risk reduction is everybody's responsibility," sums up Margareta Wahlstrom, UN Assistant Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction. "It is not only disaster reduction specialists - and governments - who should prioritize consistent and effective prevention and mitigation measures, this imperative is relevant to all of us, including our families and friends and the communities in which we live."