Stakeholder Engagement Mechanism Policy Position for the Pact – Summit of the Future

By Communications
9 May 2024


Disasters can wipe out decades of development progress within seconds. Whether triggered by conflict, climate change, or other causes, they pose a serious threat to hard-earned development gains. These events disproportionately impact vulnerable populations resulting in significant financial, environmental, and social losses and setbacks.

The solution is risk reduction. Investing in disaster risk reduction (DRR) is not only a practical and cost-effective strategy to mitigate the impact of disasters but also a moral imperative to protect lives, preserve development gains, and foster sustainable and resilient societies. The benefits of DRR extend beyond disaster preparedness and recovery, impacting broader development goals and ensuring a safer and more sustainable future for communities worldwide. By investing in preparedness, early warning systems, and infrastructure that is resilient to disasters, the financial, social, cultural, and environmental losses caused by disasters can be minimized.

Strengthening risk reduction efforts, preparedness, and resilience building requires a whole-of-a-society approach. The UNDRR’s Stakeholder Engagement Mechanism (SEM) promotes a prevention-focused strategy that aims to safeguard all individuals from existing and emerging risks. Building on the recommendations from the Mid-Term Review of the Sendai Framework, it emphasises the crucial involvement and inclusion of all societal sectors in disaster risk reduction, highlighting the pivotal role of communities and civil society organisations.

These key disaster risk reduction messages are co-developed by SEM members from across the globe. SEM offers all non-state actors an opportunity to engage in the follow-up and implementation of the Sendai Framework. We want to ensure that the achievement of the common agenda is connected to the priorities of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.

1. Integrate disaster risk reduction efforts and initiatives into the planning and processes of the Pact of the Future, ensuring they are mainstreamed and reflected in the outcomes

Climate change and increased exposure to hazards are amplifying the global impact of disasters. All nations must prioritise raising awareness of evolving disaster risks. We urge co-facilitators to swiftly integrate disaster risk reduction into the Pact of the Future at all levels. Emphasising a comprehensive, people-centred approach is crucial. Disaster risk reduction policies must be inclusive, accessible, and address multiple hazards and sectors to maximise effectiveness.

2. Increase allocation of financial resources to the local level

Insufficient financial support presents a barrier to developing and implementing effective DRR measures, resulting in vulnerable communities. To bridge this gap, we advocate for increased public financing aimed at empowering and strengthening resilience and climate change adaptation. It is imperative to ensure that substantial and sustained international and national public funding, administered through well-governed mechanisms like the Loss and Damage Fund, directly benefits the most vulnerable communities, especially those in Low- and Middle-Income Countries.

3. Enhance the meaningful engagement of all stakeholder groups to achieve our common agenda

We acknowledge the crucial role of all stakeholders in shaping and implementing global initiatives, reaffirming the UN’s commitment to collaborating with the nine major groups and other stakeholders recognised by the UN General Assembly. We emphasise a whole-of-society approach and meaningful engagement of all stakeholders, ensuring equality and avoiding the reinforcement of individualistic societal norms that favour those with greater power and resources. There is a need to provide support to vulnerable communities and enhance the engagement of local communities.

4. Strengthen coordination and coherence between global frameworks to achieve our common goals of a sustainable future for all

To efficiently implement the intergovernmental frameworks of Agenda 2030, it is crucial to generate coherence among these frameworks. Local practices already demonstrate this interlinkage, highlighting the need for global policy frameworks to align accordingly. This integration will minimize duplicated efforts and maximize the efficient use of limited resources. Additionally, we emphasize the importance of enhanced coordination and coherence by integrating disaster risk reduction (DRR) with development through a risk-informed approach, and with climate change by focusing on adaptation and addressing loss and damage.

5. Promote Science, technology, innovation and digital cooperation for early warning and risk reduction

Science Technology and Innovation (STI) significantly impact disaster mitigation strategies. Continuous advancement of STIs in developing early warning systems and efficient disaster management is crucial for reducing the loss and damage of disasters. We advocate for ongoing enhancements to early warning systems to decrease the number of deaths per 100,000 population. Policies must guide the responsible creation and dissemination of data and knowledge to support digital cooperation and prevent misinformation. Our goal is to foster an inclusive digital environment where technology aligns with the SDGs and upholds human rights. Recognizing the importance of local and indigenous knowledge within the realm of STI is crucial, as it has historically contributed to creating sustainable and resilient communities.

6. Strengthen and promote anticipatory actions to avoid avoidable loss of lives, livelihoods, resources, and development progress

In our current world, where 98% of disaster funding is allocated after a hazard strikes, it is imperative to take proactive steps to prevent hazards from escalating into disasters. Anticipatory Action systematically connects early warnings with proactive measures aimed at safeguarding communities and their assets before a hazard occurs. Acting before a disaster occurs can save lives and livelihoods, improve food security, enhance resilience to future shocks, and alleviate strain on humanitarian resources. Effective actions must be locally driven to succeed. However, the international community also has a critical role in preventing development setbacks in the face of hazards and imminent disasters.

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