Robert Glasser addresses GNDR: civil society stronger when we work together

People from different nationalities talking sitting at a table, others active in the background of a meeting hall The Special Representative of the Secretary-General addressed GNDR members at the Global Summit Photo: UNISDR

The UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction, Robert Glasser addressed all GNDR members via video at their Global Summit held in Bangkok (April 19th-21st). Mr Glasser reminded us that civil society is stronger when working together and highlighted the essential roles ahead to be played by civil society during the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR).

Watch Robert Glasser’s video address on Youtube.

In his video message, Mr Glasser recognised that, as members of the largest international network of organizations striving to improve the lives of people affected by disasters GNDR members have a “powerful role in helping to meet the enormous collective challenges that we face”, reminding us that the SFDRR emphasises that “individuals and the communities of which they are a part should be key players when it comes to heading off the impacts of hazards that would otherwise become disasters”.

Mr Glasser stressed that the SFDRR “recognizes that while the state has the primary role to reduce disaster risk, responsibility should be shared with other stakeholders” such as local government, business, science and technology sectors, but also importantly the role of civil society. The Special Representative said “Collaboration, knowledge-sharing, joint advocacy and monitoring based on the idea that we are stronger when we work together are core to the Sendai Framework and truly fundamental to its success.”

Earlier, in the first day of the GNDR Summit, Ms Feng Min Kan, Head of UNISDR Asia Pacific Office addressed in person to the participants in the room and online. Ms Feng Min praised GNDR saying that “the context of our DRR work has changed because of GNDR work - you have linked communities to decision makers” and that “civil society can change the way we do business in the Humanitarian, Development and DRR field.”

In her message, Ms Feng Min said as well that members have the “responsibility to make the network work for effective outcomes” and that “resilience must be built at the local level, it can't just be activities at the capitals”.

With more than 120 participants, GNDR's global gathering in Bangkok, Thailand, 19-21 April 2016 has delivered an interactive, fast-paced, engaging and enjoyable space for GNDR members to meet colleagues from more than 70 countries, exchange views, explore regional priorities and share their commitments towards the GNDR strategy 2016-2020 that was launched on its first day.



Robert Glasser: civil society stronger when we work together Video: UNISDR

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