“The Islamic Republic of Iran has committed itself to take necessary measures in order to reduce disaster risks,” declared, Mr. Mohammad Najjar, Iran’s Deputy Minister and Head of National Disaster Management Organization (NDMO). “They will result in minimizing the losses and damage and will enhance the capacity of Iran to manage disasters.”
Mr. Najjar was speaking at the “First Meeting of the Iran National Platform on Implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction” which took place on 25 July at the Ministry of Interior in Tehran.
The Sendai Framework is an essential framework for the global response to increasing the resilience of countries on the planet to natural disaster. It has three main goals: (1) preventing potential risk, (2) reducing existing risk and (3) strengthening the resilience of people and assets in any country to withstand the risks which remain after taking steps (1) and (2).
The meeting represented a gathering of representatives from 14 national working groups on disaster management and members of different national organizations dealing with natural disasters.
Also invited were UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, Mr. Gary Lewis and UNDP Deputy Resident Representative, Ms. Anne Marie Sloth Carlsen.
Back in March 2015, representatives from 187 member states, the UN, and other stakeholders adopted the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030. It thus became the first major agreement of the Post-2015 Development Agenda. The Sendai Framework is the successor instrument to the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) 2005-2015.
Mr. Najjar highlighted the active participation of Iranian delegation in the “3rd World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction” held in Sendai, Japan and noted that Iran’s inputs and considerations are embedded in the final Sendai Framework document.
The meeting’s aim was to establish the platform which will eventually lead to the Iran’s being able to achieve the 7 global targets of the Sendai Framework. The national secretariat was established in Iran by NDMO with the support of UNDP.. This first meeting of the Secretariat was convened with the following objectives:
- Revision and approval of the biannual work plan of the national platform.
- Revision and approval of structure of the national platform.
- Planning for active participation of Iran in regional and global platforms for disaster risk reduction.
Speaking at the event, Mr. Gary Lewis said: “We at the United Nations are extremely impressed at the remarkable level of participation from different sectors across the country. We also appreciate that the United Nations’ role has been well-considered in this regard.”
The United Nations Resident Coordinator in Iran focused on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which 193 countries around the world have adopted. The SDGs came into effect on 1 January 2016. Iran, along with all other countries, has signed up to achieving the 17 SDGs by the year 2030.
Mr. Lewis said: “The SDGs touch 17 areas through which, if we get it right, we will be able to preserve a sustainable future for our children and grandchildren. I have worked in the United Nations for 30 years and I have never seen such a robust, sensible and implementable set of goals for the planet. It is a great plan. We have no alternative plan. We have to implement this plan.”
He then made reference to goals which directly target disaster risk reduction, namely they are:
- Goal 9: building resilient infrastructure.
- Goal 11: building resilient cities.
- Goal 13: mitigating and adapting to climate change.
- Goal 15: securing life on land.
Mr. Lewis concluded his remarks by stating: “We – at the United Nations – recognize the immense steps that Iran has taken to imbed disaster risk reduction in its planning and its response. And in your future thinking and planning we are honoured that you have chosen to ask for contribution from the United Nations.”
Ms. Carlsen also spoke at the meeting and stated: “The establishment of national strategies and plans with targets, indicators and timeframes as well as mechanisms for follow-up and reporting is vital for the Sendai Framework implementation. Under its current Country Programme (2012-2016), UNDP has been cooperating with the Government of Iran to support disaster risk reduction and management since 2013. The work is led by the NDMO with four other national institutions as partners. In this context, we are very pleased to cooperate with NDMO to establish the national Sendai Secretariat and also to discuss possible options of collaborations for the forthcoming UNDP Country Program 2017-2021.”
The area of disaster risk reduction and response has featured very prominently in the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) that is currently ongoing. Disaster risk reduction also features in the UN’s future UNDAF which was agreed mid-2015 and will come to effect in 2017 until 2021.
Story by: Younes Zangiabadi
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