The first-ever European Ministerial Meeting on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) brought together representatives from 40 European countries to exchange views on developing a post-2015 DRR framework, to be endorsed at the Third World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (WCDRR), in Sendai, Japan, in 2015.
10 July 2014: The first-ever European Ministerial Meeting on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) brought together representatives from 40 European countries to exchange views on developing a post-2015 DRR framework, to be endorsed at the Third World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (WCDRR), in Sendai, Japan, in March 2015.
Ministers, who met on 8 July 2014, in Milan, Italy, agreed on a number of recommendations designed to build resilience to disasters in advance of the Intergovernmental Preparatory Committee meetings, scheduled to take place from 14-15 July 2014, in Geneva, Switzerland, which will produce the first draft of the new framework.
Margareta Wahlström, Head of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), said the meeting provided evidence from several European countries that investing in disaster-proof infrastructure leads to significant savings when disaster strikes.
The meeting concluded with the adoption of the Milan Declaration that urges improved accountability, transparency and governance for disaster risk management (DRM) in the 2015 framework, which will succeed the existing Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) adopted in 2005. The Declaration contains 24 recommendations, including the delivery of results, measuring progress, and encouraging implementation by setting targets at the appropriate level and within an appropriate timeframe. It calls for safe school and hospital policies and programmes as a priority for action, and recognizes women as a force in resilience building.
The Declaration also recommends that the post-2015 framework, inter alia: establish voluntary peer review mechanisms; promote disaster and climate proofing in economic and financial decisions and strategies; promote disaster risk assessment and scenario-based capability analyses; develop and implement the new framework in close partnership with the private sector, international financial institutions and major investors; encourage contributions of community-based civil society organizations and networks; encourage a reinforced science-policy interface; and develop the new framework in close coherence with the post-2015 development agenda and the 2015 climate agreement.
Kristalina Georgieva, EU Commissioner for International Cooperation, commended the Declaration for focusing on sharing data on disaster losses and hazards, raising public awareness, and setting operationally feasible and measurable targets for reducing disaster losses.
The meeting was organized by the Italian Government, UNISDR – Regional Office for Europe and the European Forum for Disaster Risk Reduction (EFDRR). [Declaration of the European Ministerial Meeting on DRR] [Meeting Website] [UNISDR Press Release, 10 July 2014] [UNISDR Press Release, 9 July 2014] [WCDRR Website]