OAS and UNDRR, united in support of the Sendai Framework

Margareta Wahlström, Head of UNDRR, talks with Luis Almagro, Secretary General of the OAS. Ricardo Mena (left), Head of the UNDRR’s Regional Office for the Americas, accompanied the Ms. Wahlström on the mission. Photo credit: OAS

By: UNDRR – The Americas.

WASHINGTON DC. September 2, 2015 - The Organization of American States (OAS) and the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) pledged to promote the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 together, through the identification and promotion of strategic areas of cooperation between these organizations.

At this meeting, Luis Almagro, Secretary General of the OAS and Margareta Wahlström, head of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) agreed to promote actions to implement the Sendai Framework as a key instrument for sustainable development in the region. These actions will seek the participation of the institutions of the Inter-American System such as the IDB, PAHO, IICA, PADF and IADB.

Luis Almagro stressed the “need to work together and support capacity building in this area”. Meanwhile, Cletus Springer, Director of the Department of Sustainable Development – OAS, referred to the incorporation of relevant elements of the Sendai Framework in developing the Inter-American Sustainable Development Plan prepared by the OAS, which will be discussed at the Third Inter-American Meeting of Ministers and High Level Authorities on Sustainable Development to be held in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, in October.

Furthermore, Ms. Wahlström, who also serves as Special Representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations for Disaster Risk Reduction (SRSG), addressed the Permanent Council of the OAS emphasizing that: “The Sendai Framework, adopted by 187 Member States of the United Nations in March, clearly states that effective disaster risk management contributes to sustainable development.”

“Disasters, many of which are exacerbated by climate change and which are increasing in frequency and intensity, significantly impede progress towards sustainable development. Disaster risk reduction is therefore vital to achieving sustainable development,” stressed Ms. Wahlström, who also extended her sincere condolences to Dominica, in national mourning due to the losses caused by Tropical Storm Erika.

The delegations of Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Costa Rica, Dominica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Jamaica, Mexico, and Nicaragua; and the Assistant Secretary General, welcomed the presentation made by Ms. Wahlström, stressing the importance of continued progress in efforts to reduce disaster risk. In addition, the delegations also expressed their solidarity with the government and people of Dominica, and extended a special thanks to Mexico for having encouraged the participation of Ms. Wahlström.

Finally, Ms. Wahlström welcomed comments from delegations, mentioning various aspects of possible interest for the OAS agenda, as well as areas in which OAS and UNDRR cooperation could be expanded.





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