UNISDR Agrees to Create Expert Group for Global Risk Assessment Framework
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UNISDR plans to establish an Expert Working Group that will create a global risk assessment framework to support Member States in implementing several international agreements: the Sendai Framework on DRR, the New Urban Agenda, the Paris Agreement on climate change, and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Public Health England published a review of the UK’s progress on implementing the Sendai Framework.

23 November 2017: The UN’s disaster risk reduction body has decided to create an Expert Working Group to form a global risk assessment framework, in order to support Member States in implementing several international agreements reached in 2015 and 2016, and ensure coherence across them. The agreements are: the Sendai Framework on DRR, the New Urban Agenda, the Paris Agreement on climate change, and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The UN Office for DRR (UNISDR) held the meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, from 20-21 November 2017, to discuss global risk and the current state of disaster risk modeling and assessment. Participants addressed how new technologies, such as machine learning and the use of big data, can help to better understand and communicate the nature of risk, and to make such knowledge accessible to a wide audience. Experts from developing countries highlighted the need to standardize data and make it available online, and to adapt risk models to countries’ needs. They identified the lack of data and historical records in some countries as a barrier to risk assessment, and highlighted needs in the areas of technology and human resource capacity.

UNISDR will develop TORs for the Expert Working Group and invite expressions of interest.

Following the decision to create an Expert Working Group, UNISDR will develop terms of reference (TOR) for the consideration of Member States, and invite expressions of interest. The working group will consider local, national and global scale hazards and DRR strategies, including the approaches taken by cities. UNISDR Director Kirsi Madi said the working group’s discussions will be informed by broader issues of gender, culture and vulnerability. She noted the convergence of these themes with that of the 2018 session of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF): ‘Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies.’

Robert Glasser, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for DRR, invited development partners to contribute to the first Global Risk Assessment Framework, which will feature in the 2019 Global Assessment Report on DRR. The report will be published before the HLPF and the Global Platform on DRR convene in 2019.

Also in November, Public Health England published a review of the UK’s progress on implementing the Sendai Framework. Public Health England is an agency within the UK government’s Department of Health. Glaser praised the agency for its leadership, and highlighted the UK’s progress toward the Sendai Framework’s first deadline of having national and local DRR strategies in place by 2020. The Sendai Framework on DRR covers the period 2015-2030.

UNISDR leads a ‘Sendai Seven Campaign’, which promotes the seven targets of the Sendai Framework. [UNISDR Press Release, Opening of Expert Meeting] [UNISDR Press Release, Decision of Expert Meeting] [UNISDR Press Release, Public Health England Review] [Full Text of ‘Public Health England and the Sendai Framework for DRR 2015-2030: A Review’] [HLPF 2018 Webpage]

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