Statement by Mr. Subinay Nandy at the launch of the Global Assessment Report 2015

Good afternoon,

On behalf of UN, I welcome all of you, especially the representatives of SAARC Disaster Management Center (SDMC) and, governments and civil society from Nepal, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, as well as our colleagues from UNISDR Geneva and Bangkok to Sri Lanka, and to this important and timely deliberations focusing on South Asia region, this afternoon.

South Asia, is a hotspot for disasters while being the home to a large portion of poor people on this planet. The region is exposed to variety of hazards due to its geo-climatic characteristics. These hazards vary from avalanches, earthquake, and flash floods created by glacial lake outburst in northern Himalayas; to drought, floods in the plains; to cyclones that originate in the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea and having devastating effect on coastal South Asia.  This audience is well aware of how climate change has aggravated this situation, by not only making disasters in South Asia more intense and more frequent, but, also creating new hazards due to consequences of climate induce phenomenon such as temperature and sea level rise. Risks and losses in the region have greatly increased as a result and made lives and livelihoods of the poor and vulnerable much more difficult.  We are hopeful that SDMC, governments, civil society and other stakeholder in the region continue to be committed to find solutions to changing challenges in South Asia.

Early this year, the world concluded the 3rd UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (WCDRR) in Sendai Japan, with an ambition to achieve substantial reduction of disaster risk and losses over the next 15 years.  WCDRR was built on the experience of the last decade in implementing Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) across the world including this region which actively participated in it.  Link between DRR and sustainable development was reiterated once again at the WCDRR. The SFDRR, a main output of the conference, which has specific Targets and Priorities for Action for substantially reducing disaster risk and losses over the next decade and a half, is expected to facilitate sustainable development; contribute to achieve Sustainable Development Goals, the SDGs.  

These discussions we have in Colombo therefore, mark an important first step towards aligning national and regional plans of South Asia with the SFDRR. National and regional pledges need to be converted to national and regional actions and set targets to substantially reduce disaster risk and losses in South Asia. While this is a highly challenging exercise, I understand that discussions over the last two days have been quite productive.  I believe that the process has only begun, and we have some way to go before all countries and the region have workable agendas. Yet, I have no doubt that the experience generated and shared over the two days would be invaluable for regional DRR. I am therefore sure we can look forward to lively Round Table discussion this evening.

I am also very happy to launch Sinhala and Tamil translations of the summary of the Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction (GAR) 2015, which was launched in March this year.  GAR as you are well aware, is one of the best, if not the best, global resources available for disaster management planners and professionals. It analyses global risk and risk management and has provided much guidance to the implementation of the HFA over the last decade. I have no doubt that GAR 2015 with its theme “Making Development Sustainable- The Future of Disaster Risk Management” will provide a much needed conceptual guidance and initial push for SFDRR implementation globally  I like to thank UNISDR and Duryog Nivaran network for this important initiative, and happy to note that UNDP has joined hands with them. I have no doubt that Sri Lanka will benefit immensely from the translated summaries. The availability of risk and risk management information in local languages will invariably strengthen local knowledge and capacity, bridging gaps


Some background information on GAR – Global Assessment Report 2015

The GAR is considered to be a comprehensive review and analysis of disaster risk and risk management at global level. It aims to focus international attention on the issue of disaster risk and encourage political and economic support for DRR. It is published every two years starting from 2007 and contributed to achieving the Hyogo Framework of Action (HFA 2005-2015) through monitoring risk patterns and trends and progress in DRR while providing strategic policy guidance to countries and the international community. The report is produced in collaboration and consultation with a wide range of stakeholders, including UN agencies, governments, academic and research institutions, donors and technical organizations and specialists.

GAR15 was produced under the theme of “Making Development Sustainable; the Future of Disaster Management”.  The GAR 2015 report was launched in March 2015 and expected to provide guidance to operationalizing SFDRR

GAR produces a full report and a summary report. The summary report of GAR 2015 was translated to Sinhala and Tamil.


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