Deputy Permanent Representative of the Philippines to the United Nations Ms. Kira Christianne D. Azucena delivers intervention at the High Level Political Forum at the United Nations Headquarters. (Photo by IISD/ENB-Kiara Worth)
10 July 2018, New York – The Philippines at the High Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development at the United Nations today highlighted its national development plan which aims to improve the lives of all people in thriving and resilient communities.
In her statement delivered at the thematic review on “Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies: Building resilience” during the HLPF, Deputy Permanent Representative Kira Christianne D. Azucena acknowledged the persistent reality of the Philippines as among the most vulnerable to disasters and to the adverse effects of climate change, and as such, disaster risk reduction and risk management are fully entrenched in the country’s national development plans.
The Philippines has “significantly shifted from disaster response to disaster risk reduction in government policies and programs, especially in the areas of hazard mapping, early warning systems, and disaster preparedness,” Deputy Permanent Representative Azucena underscored. These policies and programs include the creation of the National Resilience Council in 2017 tasked to establish Resilient Cities in the country, the collaboration with the World Bank on the first-ever natural disaster insurance system program worth US$206 million which provides coverage against losses from major typhoons and earthquakes to national government assets in participating provinces, close coordination with ASEAN partners on a disaster-risk financing strategy in the region, and the Philippines’ sponsorship of the recently adopted United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) resolution entitled “Strategic Framework on Geospatial Information and Services for Disasters” which draws from the principles included in the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the UN General Assembly resolution on international cooperation on humanitarian assistance in the field of natural disasters, from relief to development, and other relevant instruments.
Deputy Permanent Representative Azucena likewise stressed that there is a need to fill the information gap. Data collection should be prioritized to facilitate the crafting of good policies. “In this regard, the Philippines, with partners, is actively involved in developing whole-of-government, multi-stakeholder data roadmaps that will generate and monitor data for the 230 unique indicators and 169 targets of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals,” she added.
The HLPF is the main United Nations platform on sustainable development and it has a central role in the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the global level. The Forum meets annually under the auspices of the ECOSOC for eight days, which includes a three-day ministerial segment and every four years at the level of Heads of State and Government under the auspices of the General Assembly for two days. As part of its follow-up and review mechanisms, the 2030 Agenda encourages member states to “conduct regular and inclusive reviews of progress at the national and sub-national levels, which are country-led and country-driven”.
The ECOSOC is the principal body tasked for coordination, policy review, policy dialogue, and recommendations on economic, social, and environmental issues, as well as implementation of the internationally agreed development goals.
The Philippines was elected to serve in the ECOSOC for the term 2018 to 2020.