In 1989, in recognition of the disastrous
impact of natural hazards on vulnerable communities, the United
Nations General Assembly proclaimed, in its resolution 44/236, the
International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction (IDNDR, 1990-2000),
with the objective to reduce, through concerted action, the loss
of life, property damage, and social and economic disruption caused
by natural disasters.
At the conclusion of the Decade, the
continued rise in frequency, severity and cost of disasters facing
societies has underlined the importance of intensifying public and
private commitments to hazard and risk reduction.
In its resolution 54/219 of 22 December
1999, the General Assembly endorsed the report of the Secretary-General
on "IDNDR: successor arrangements" (A/54/497), which was
prepared pursuant to Economic and Social Council resolution 1999/63
of 30 July 1999. The report presented an international strategy
for disaster reduction and described the institutional arrangements
to be made to implement it. The International Strategy for Disaster
Reduction (ISDR), which was adopted at the Programme Forum for the
IDNDR held in July 1999 and endorsed by the Economic and Social
Council General Assembly, constitutes the framework for the activities
of the United Nations system in the coming years.
The main objectives of the strategy
To enable communities to become resilient
to the effects of natural, technological and environmental hazards,
thus reducing the compound risk posed to social and economic vulnerabilities
within modern societies;
To proceed from protection against
hazards to the management of risk, by integrating risk prevention
strategies into sustainable development activities
In its resolution 1999/63, the Economic
and Social Council requested the Secretary-General to establish
an inter-agency task force and an inter-agency secretariat for natural
disaster reduction. Since January 2000, steps have been taken to
implement the Economic and Social Council and General Assembly resolutions.
An Inter-agency Secretariat has been established and an Inter-agency
Task Force has been constituted.
International Day for Disaster Reduction
The United Nations observes a promotional
event on and around the second Wednesday of each October, designated
as the International Day for Disaster Reduction. For more information
on UNESCAP's commemoration of the event, please click here: IDNDR.
For further information, you may also
visit the new ISDR website at http://www.unisdr.org.