Prevention and Risk Reduction to Build a Sustainable and Resilient World
Statement by the Stakeholder Engagement Mechanism (SEM) of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction
The SEM is a group of non-state organisations working together to support the implementation of the Sendai Framework. GNDR is one of the two SEM focal points who coordinate the activities of the group and its engagement with the UN.
Covid-19 has revealed the precariousness of the systems upon which trade, food, energy, transportation, and social safety nets depend. It is the shortcomings of these very systems which exacerbate the conditions for a virus to emerge, propagate, and become a global catastrophe. This newfound understanding of our interdependence provides the opportunity to create stronger, more resilient local, national and global systems.
Whilst the effects of this risk landscape are felt by all, it is the poorest and most vulnerable who suffer most. And as disasters hit faster and harder, causing further suffering, our budgets are pushed to the breaking point, leading to economic ‘rescue’ measures to be adopted which further increase risk. If we want to break this vicious cycle, we must embrace the only proven solution: prevention.
Prevention saves lives and upholds a safer, sustainable and resilient future for all.
We urgently need to start applying a preventive, risk-informed focus to all decision making and develop accountability frameworks to support comprehensive risk disclosure and preventive action. Approaches that governments choose can radically transform the sectors that they seek to save and introduce a shift towards risk-aware behaviors and decisions by all of us.
The members of the Stakeholder Engagement Mechanism call on all people – but especially government leaders – to reduce risks, save lives, and build a more sustainable world by: