Background

The Chairman recalled that, at its fourteenth session in September 2007, the High-level Committee on Programmes had an initial discussion on mainstreaming disaster risk reduction in the policies and strategies in the United Nations system. The Committee requested the secretariat of the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) to report back on progress made in this regard, stressing programme coherence, and the importance of building on existing work of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) system in disaster risk reduction in developing a system-wide climate change strategy.

The representative of UNISDR presented a paper to the current session of the Committee, as requested, providing an update on developments at the inter-agency and intergovernmental levels, and outlining specific actions aimed at accelerating coherent implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015.

Discussion

The Committee thanked UNISDR for its paper, and agreed on the need to mainstream disaster risk reduction as a cross-cutting issue at all levels. Organizations highlighted the relevance of efforts to reduce the risks of disasters to their efforts in such areas as the preservation of cultural heritage, education and public awareness, health, agriculture, recovery and reconstruction and humanitarian adaptation.

Action

The Committee expressed its strong support for the recommendations contained in paragraph 22 of the paper, with an amendment to the third recommendation. It therefore endorsed the following actions by United Nations system entities:
    (a)    Examine to what extent their existing mandates or policies are in line with the Hyogo Framework, and, if necessary, request their executive boards to consider revising/updating them;
    (b)    Review/recognize what stage they have reached in mainstreaming disaster risk reduction activities into their ongoing work;
    (c)    Based on the above reviews, seek to reallocate resources as feasible, to comply with their roles and responsibilities for disaster risk reduction, in particular in support of national counterparts’ needs and in the context of the United Nations country team work and closely coordinated under the resident coordinators;
    (d)    Incorporate disaster risk reduction objectives in their own results management systems, including developing and monitoring the appropriate outcome indicators, measured against the Millennium Development Goals;
    (e)    Contribute to strong United Nations system leadership on disaster risk reduction in their own sectors and participate in ISDR system processes to advocate at the highest political levels, particularly in the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction and events associated with the United Nations General Assembly and other United Nations system member governance bodies;
    (f)    Decide to take up this issue periodically to enable report on progress made.