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Jakarta Post

Global leaders, civil society address disaster risks in Mexico

  • Tassia Sipahutar

    The Jakarta Post

Cancun, Mexico   /   Wed, May 24, 2017   /   01:34 pm
Global leaders, civil society address disaster risks in Mexico United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction Robert Glasser (second left) talks about issues to be discussed during the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in Cancun, Mexico. He is accompanied by World Meteorological Organization Secretary-General Petteri Taalas (left) and World Bank Co-Lead Small Island States Resilience Initiative Habiba Gitay (second right). (JP/Tassia Sipahutar)

World leaders and civil society representatives are convening in a biennial forum in Cancun, Mexico, to address the escalating impact of disasters, which are estimated to cost the global economy US$520 billion.

The three-day forum—dubbed the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction—is being held by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) from May 24 to 26.

As many as 5,000 people from 176 countries are expected to participate in the event, which has taken place five times since the Indian Ocean tsunami killed around 230,000 people in 2004.

Data from the UN show that even though mortality from natural hazards has declined, the disasters are estimated to push 26 million people into poverty every year.

“DRR [disaster risk reduction] is really a practical agenda […] a lot of discussions, not up in the clouds. We’re making huge progress in the process at the Global Platform,” Robert Glasser, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for disaster risk reduction, said on Tuesday.

During the event, participants are expected to launch a global accountability mechanism to measure reductions in the loss of life, in numbers of disaster-affected people, in economic losses and in damage to critical infrastructure from 2020 to 2030.

National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) head Willem Rampangilei is slated to deliver Indonesia’s official statement on Thursday.