United Nations Opens Forum On Disaster Risk Reduction

United Nations Opens Forum On Disaster Risk Reduction
With the devastating impact of the Oklahoma tornadoes serving as a backdrop, the UN opened its annual conference on disaster risk reduction. According to a recent UN report, the estimated economic loss from disasters since 2000 is in the range of $2.5 trillion – which is almost double previous estimates.

The Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction brings together participants from various fields, including from NGOs, international agencies and organizations, academic and technical institutions, and the private sector.

In his opening statement, Mohamed Nazim, Minister of Defence and National Security for the Maldives, stressed the importance of including the voices of small states such as his nation in the discussion of climate change and disaster risk reduction.

He also addressed directly the role of climate change in international disaster strategy.

“Disaster risk reduction and the mitigation of climate change cannot be addressed separately. Most of the disaster risks that we face today are also adverse impacts of climate change,” he stated. Furthermore, he insisted, the UN needs “to strategize to place these elements on the fore front of our developmental policies and plans. Therefore, it is paramount that we explore options to make the next disaster risk reduction framework a binding agreement among nations.”

United Nations Official Says Improved Accountability Needed Néstor Osorio, the President of the United Nations’ Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), this week said it is imperative that the UN initiate reforms to enhance accountability, effectiveness and coherence of the UN systems at the intergovernmental, institutional and operational levels.

Mr. Osorio also noted the importance of including civil society and the private sector in the dialogue on the next development agenda priorities.

Book Review
In his review of Ian Goldin’s “Divided Nations,” John Bunzl of the Huffington Post describes it as an excellent primer on how and why global governance is failing.

“He offers a sober analysis of all the many approaches to global problems tried so far, from the existing institutions to all the many approaches pursued by NGOs, corporations, professional networks, and others. He concludes, rightly in my view, that none of them are anywhere near enough,” Bunzl writes.

Goldin does not only offer criticism of global governance, but also provides a roadmap toward solutions to its failures. Goldin suggests “something we each instinctively know to be true: that far from being about self-sacrifice, cooperation is actually about self-interest. In other words, what nations should be looking for is how cooperation can benefit them.”


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