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Delivered by Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana

25 November 2020

Special Remarks




Distinguished guests,

Ladies and gentlemen,

A warm welcome to the 12th RIMES Council Meeting.

ESCAP and RIMES have a long and complementary journey for supporting member States for Tsunami, Disaster and Climate Preparedness.

RIMES was established a decade ago at the 67th ESCAP Commission Session with three members: Maldives, Seychelles and Madagascar. Today, the membership has expanded from 3 to 48 member States. It is a testament to the significance of RIMES’s contribution in this endeavour.

In 2019, at the Sixth Session of ESCAP’s Committee on Disaster Risk Reduction, member States established the Asia Pacific Disaster Resilience Network (APDRN), a network of networks to mobilize the expertise and resources in the region to develop practical resilience solutions.

The core of this network is the regional platform for multi-hazard early warning systems, and RIMES as well as WMO are our key partners in taking this concrete work forward.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Allow me to highlight two key initiatives of our partnership.

First, ESCAP and RIMES are advancing the integration of climate services with the broader development agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

In 2019, at the Third South Asia Forum on Sustainable Development in Dhaka, Bangladesh, member States requested ESCAP to join the South Asia Hydromet Forum- bringing the two separate  forums together to deliver risk-based climate information to key development sectors.

The joint partnership with RIMES and WMO under this integrated forum is critical for our future operationalization of the APDRN. The disaster risk reduction will be our common agenda here to harness regional cooperation.

Second, a joint ESCAP-ASEAN report on drought entitled “Ready for the Dry Years” has encouraged the development of an ASEAN-level approach to drought resilience-building through a Ministerial Declaration and a follow-up regional action plan.

I am pleased that ESCAP and RIMES have already begun collaborating to advance the paradigm shift from reactive to proactive approaches proposed in the evidence-based analytical report. We are staring with delivering technical assistance to member States on climate change adaptation and resilience.

Ladies and gentlemen,

In the era of intersecting disasters where COVID-19 is converging with floods, monsoons, and drought, it is clearer than ever that if disaster risks are ignored, progress towards the SDGs will be undermined.

ESCAP and RIMES have successfully worked in the past and there is a great potential for the two organizations to work together as ‘thought partners’ to deliver much needed integrated services that can support long-term resilience planning and implementing the resilience architecture within the 2030 Agenda.

ESCAP is committed to delivering on multi-disciplinary SDGs actions that emphasise institutional collaboration and long-term partnership in close coordination with member State’s aspirations in achieving inclusive, sustainable and resilient future for all in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond.

I wish you a very successful 12th RIMES Council Meeting.

Thank you for your attention.


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