Policymakers in Asia voice disaster risk reduction priorities at Ministerial Conference

Secretary general Ban Ki-moon has a Helicopter overflight of the flood-affected areas of Bangkok

Overflight of flood-affected areas of Bangkok
The helicopter will take off and land at the same Thai army base (located 10 minutes from ESCAP), at 2nd Army Cavalry Division, Sanam Pao.
The flight itself is expected to last for 30 min and will give the Secretary-General a bird-eye view of flooded areas in Bangkok, in particular the western part of the city, the Thonburi area, which has experienced the worst flood situation.

Bangkok (ESCAP News) -- Asia and the Pacific is the most disaster prone region in the world. Rapid economic growth and population expansion, along with the impacts of climate change, will increase the exposure and vulnerability of the region to disasters.

This week, 2,500 delegates will meet in Bangkok, Thailand, for the Sixth Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction – in order to shape future efforts to build more resilient communities and nations (6th AMCDRR). Hosted by the Royal Thai Government, in collaboration with the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, policymakers in Asia will gather to voice their priorities towards the post-Hyogo Framework for Action, which was adopted in Kobe, Japan in 2005 by 168 governments.

The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) will co-lead a technical session on the Private Sector’s Role in Public and Private Partnerships with the Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre. The private sector enterprises, the main driver for economies, are increasingly linked to the global value chains (GVC), exposing them ever more to hazards. When business practices are not risk-sensitive, they can exacerbate or create risks both for the private sector itself as well as the society at large. For the first time, the private sector will be a prominent actor with many sessions dedicated to its important role in sustainable development. ESCAP will also hold a side event on the Future of Multi-hazard Early Warning in Asia-Pacific with the Pacific Disaster Center to highlight key achievements in strengthening resilience in the region since the Indian Ocean Tsunami.

The 6th AMCDRR will also bring together representatives of the disability community to ensure that the Asia-Pacific inputs to the next Hyogo Framework for Action are disability-inclusive. Disability inclusion in disaster risk reduction is critical for the creation of resilient, inclusive and equitable societies. Evidence shows that the death rate of persons with disabilities is two to four times higher than persons without disabilities. Participation of persons with disabilities in all stages of disaster risk reduction, especially preparedness, is essential to increase their resilience and survival. At the same time, disability-inclusive disaster risk reduction benefits everyone in the community, including older persons, children, pregnant women and others who could be under debilitating stress when a disaster strikes.

What / When:
Future of Multi-Hazard Early Warning in Asia-Pacific (side event), Monday 23 June, 12:30-14:00
The ‘how-to’ of disability-inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction: From awareness to action (side event), Monday 23 June, 12:30-14:00
The Private Sector’s Role: Public and Private Partnership for Disaster Risk Reduction (technical session 3), Wednesday 25 June, 14:00-16:00

Where:
Centara Grand Hotel, Bangkok

Who:

The Private Sector’s Role
Mr. Eduardo G. Batac, Under-Secretary for Civil, Veterans and Reserve Affairs, Department of National Defence, Philippines
Dr. Shamika Sirimanne, Director, Information and Communications Technology and Disaster Risk Reduction Division, ESCAP
Mr. Asif Ibrahim, Vice Chairman, Newage Group of Industries and Chair of Sustainable Business Network Task Force on Inclusive and Sustainable Trade and Investment of EBAC

Side event on early warning
Capt. Song Ekmahachai, Acting Director, Warning and Dissemination Section, NDWC, Thailand
Dr. Balakrishnan Nair T. M., Scientist & Head, Ocean Science and Information Services Group, INCOIS, India

Disability side event
Ms. Nanda Krairiksh, Director, Social Development Division, ESCAP
Dr. Michelle Villeneuve, Lecturer, University of Sydney, Australia
Mr. Katabwena Tawaka, Pacific Disability Forum, Fiji
Ms. Veronique Wallbaum, Handicap International

For more information contact:

Ms. Francyne Harrigan, Chief, Strategic Communications and Advocacy Section, ESCAP, M: (66) 81 835 8677 / E: harriganf@un.org
Ms. Katie Elles, Public Information Officer, Strategic Communications and Advocacy Section, ESCAP, M: (66) 9481 525 36 / E: elles@un.org