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India Becomes First Country to Create National Plan for Disaster Risk Reduction, Earns UN Praise

India Becomes First Country to Create National Plan for Disaster Risk Reduction, Earns UN Praise

In the UN 2017 Disaster Risk Reduction meeting taking place this week, officials have praised India for leading a global intervention aimed at lessening the losses after natural disasters by being the only country so far to have a national plan.

India has become a frontrunner in the implementation of a global plan aimed at reducing disaster losses across the world.

India is the first, and only country so far, to produce a national plan and local strategy aimed at lowering the losses incurred due to natural disasters.

Picture for representation only. Photo Source: UNISDR

The plan was presented at the UN 2017 Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) meeting being held in Cancun, Mexico. India’s lead on the matter prompted a UN spokesperson to urge other countries to follow suit, reports Times of India.

The Sendai Framework was endorsed by the UN General Assembly and adopted by member states in March 2015. A 15-year, voluntary, non-binding agreement, it recognizes that the primary role of the State is to reduce disaster risk. Though 87 countries expressed their commitment to the Sendai Framework, India is the only country so far to have produced implementation plans showing its dedication to the cause.

“India is the largest democracy which has braced the Sendai framework for disaster risk reduction and the first country to have drawn a national and local strategy with a short term goal achievement target set for 2020,” Denis McClean, head of communication at the meeting told Times of India.

The biennial Global Platform, launched in 2007 in the wake of the devastating 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, is the world’s foremost gathering on reducing disaster risk and building the resilience of communities and nations.

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Being held from May 22 to 27, this year’s gathering marks the fifth meeting. Representatives of 176 countries and territories, including over 50 ministers and at least seven heads of state, are reported to be in attendance. Heading the Indian delegation is Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju supported by a team from the Prime Minister’s Office including additional principal secretary PK Mishra.

During the inauguration of the Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in New Delhi last year, PM Narendra Modi outlined a 10-point agenda for disaster risk reduction, involving all sectors absorbing the principles of disaster risk management, greater involvement and leadership of women in disaster risk management and the investment of global risk-mapping.

In his speech, Modi emphasised India’s critical position in global risk reduction and the implementation of the Sendai framework in India’s national plans, “we have to wholeheartedly embrace the spirit of Sendai, which calls for an all-of-society approach to disaster risk management.”

Modi’s 10-point agenda was praised during the UN gathering during reports given from each country.

For more information and updates from the UN 2017 Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) meeting, click here.

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