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Third and final meeting of G20 Disaster Risk Reduction Working Group begins in Chennai

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Chennai: The inaugural session of the 3rd  G20 Disaster Risk Reduction Working Group, under the Indian Presidency, started in Chennai today. Ms. Mami Mizutori, Special representative of the UN Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction addressed the gathering and stated that the establishment of this Working Group is a testament to the commitment of all G20 countries to finally change from reacting to disasters to proactively addressing their root causes. She mentioned that for too long, disaster risk reduction has been seen as an additional expense for development programmes and infrastructure projects. But we know that this is not true. Investments in resilience generate dividends in avoided disasters. Thus, we must all enhance resources and capacities for prevention and risk reduction with great urgency. The UN special representative explained that the climate crisis intensifies the importance of integrating DRR into all aspects of national financial planning and spending and across the global financial system.

During the meeting, it has been recognized to mainstream DRR into policy, investment decisions as well as into standards, regulations, and legislative frameworks in all sectors, particularly infrastructure. National disaster management agencies have been loyal custodians of the DRR agenda for many decades, but it is now time to share this responsibility across all ministries.

The commitments have been made to strengthen collaboration with the private sector, capital market actors, technology providers, and civil society organisations, and to better leverage their expertise. We commend this all-of-society approach because we cannot implement the Sendai Framework without them.

The deliberations have been steadfast in resolving to enhance partnerships with developing countries to build their resilience, including by sharing good practices. As developing countries are the ones most impacted by disasters, this assistance will go a long way to reducing global losses.

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