23 May 2019: Participants at the Fourth World Reconstruction Conference (WRC4) agreed on a joint communique that affirms a commitment to ensure inclusive recovery processes, and concludes that inclusion offers a “better path to resilient recovery for all.” The Conference focused on the theme, ‘Inclusion for Resilient Recovery,’ with the aim of advancing implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) 2015-2030.

The UN Development Programme (UNDP), the World Bank’s Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) and the European Commission (EC) organized the Conference, which was hosted by the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR). Over 1,000 participants attended the Conference, which convened from 13-14 May in Geneva, Switzerland. The Conference took place in conjunction with the sixth session of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (GP2019).

The Conference focused on leaving no one behind in disaster recovery efforts. Participants recognized that inclusion ensures the full and meaningful participation and leadership of all groups and individuals in pre- and post-disaster phases and that “an inclusive approach leads to social cohesion and builds resilience of communities exposed to disasters.” Participants shared best practices for leaving no one behind in pre-disaster resilience building and post-disaster recovery and promoting inclusion. Participants also shared innovative approaches and tools to increase participation of the most vulnerable to promote inclusive recovery efforts.

Being inclusive in recovery is not an option if we are truly committed to leave no one behind.

In the ‘Joint Communique on Inclusion for Resilient Recovery,’ participants state their strengthened resolve to support marginalized groups that are vulnerable to the impacts of natural hazards, noting that poor and marginalized populations are particularly vulnerable to adverse natural events. Participants commit to promote a more inclusive recovery to protect the rights and opportunities to ensure that poor and marginalized groups are not left behind and are not adversely affected by recovery efforts. They commit to put people at the center of recovery processes and ensure they play a role in assessments, planning, policy development, implementation and monitoring of recovery.

Participants commit to adopt and promote more inclusive approaches to recovery to enhance community resilience by putting vulnerable people at the center of all stages of decision making. Participants recognize the potential of traditionally marginalized groups, such as women and indigenous peoples and local communities, to contribute to disaster recovery and resilience building. They commit to building infrastructure and facilities in a way that is accessible to persons with disabilities.

Participants further commit to ensure a more resilient future for all by acting on commitments made in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Sendai Framework, the Paris Agreement on climate change and other relevant accords. They state that acting on these commitments will mean “taking explicit action to end extreme poverty, promote shared prosperity, curb inequalities, confront discrimination and fast-track progress for the furthest behind.” Participants commit to share innovative approaches, tools and methodologies for mainstreaming social inclusion in recovery and reconstruction processes.

In the Communique, participants commit to change behavior and actions to be more inclusive in planning, implementing and monitoring recovery. They commit to advocate for and assist local and national governments to include vulnerable groups, place community participation at the center of recovery efforts and work with community-based organizations to increase participation in monitoring recovery. They also commit to support the role of civil society in helping hold accountable those who design and execute recovery programmes and to promote the participation of the private sector, academia and international partners.

Speaking at the Conference’s conclusion, Léonard-Emile Ognimba, Assistant Secretary General, Department of Political Affairs and Human Development, African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) Group of States, emphasized that “being inclusive in recovery is not an option if we are truly committed to leave no one behind” and build more inclusive societies with “equal opportunities for all.” [UNDP Press Release] [Joint Communique on Inclusion for Resilient Recovery] [Conference Website] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on UNDP Inclusive Resilience Reports] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on GP2019]