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New framework for Disaster Risk Reduction – UN experts urge move to effective action

GENEVA (20 March 2015) – “Disaster and the effects of climate change mainly affect individuals and communities: any strategy must include everyone,” a group of United Nations human rights experts* said today, hailing the adoption of the Sendai framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030. “Now we have to move from words to effective actions.”

The first major agreement of the Post-2015 UN development agenda -adopted on Wednesday in Japan by representatives from 187 UN Members - is guided by the principle that disaster risk reduction requires an all-of-society engagement and partnership, as well as empowerment and inclusive, accessible and non-discriminatory participation.

“Moving from words to effective actions requires the full and effective participation and accessibility of individuals and communities affected, including women, persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples, older persons, as well as those displaced internally notably by the effects of climate change, in all phases of disaster risk reduction and building resilience strategies and policies,” they noted.

The human rights experts drew special attention to the gender, age, disability and cultural perspective included in the new framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, describing it as “a significant progress.”

“The concerns and rights of groups must be taken into consideration for a successful implementation of the Sendai Framework,” they stressed. “All individuals, without discrimination, must be considered as a resource for disaster risk reduction and resilience.”

The appeal echoes this week’s call by several UN human rights specialists in Geneva during a panel debate on building climate resilience, co-organized by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights with climate displacement experts.

(*) The experts: Mr. Chaloka Beyani, Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons; Ms. Rosa Kornfeld-Matte, Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons; Ms. Catalina Devandas Aguilar,  Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities; and Ms. Victoria Tauli Corpuz; Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples.

ENDS

The independent Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures’ experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity. Learn more: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/SP/Pages/Welcomepage.aspx

Internally displaced persons: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/IDPersons/Pages/IDPersonsIndex.aspx
Older persons: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/OlderPersons/IE/Pages/IEOlderPersons.aspx
Persons with disabilities: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Disability/SRDisabilities/Pages/SRDisabilitiesIndex.aspx
Indigenous peoples: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/IPeoples/SRIndigenousPeoples/Pages/SRIPeoplesIndex.aspx

For further information and media requests, please contact Mr. Khaled Hassine (+41 22 917 93 87 / khassine@ohchr.org) or write to olderpersons@ohchr.org

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts:
Xabier Celaya, OHCHR Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9383 / xcelaya@ohchr.org)

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