UNGA political declaration builds momentum for the 2030 Sendai Framework

By Victoria Wachira
19 May 2023


2023 marks the midpoint of several stocktaking and review exercises of numerous Post-2015 development global agreements, including the Sendai Framework, the SDGs 2030 Agenda, and the Paris Agreement.

In January, the Report of the Main Findings and Recommendations of the Midterm Review of the Sendai Framework 2015-2030 implementation revealed that while we have made some progress in building resilience and reducing disaster losses and damages, we are not on track to meet the Sendai goals by 2030 at the current pace and without political will.

GNDR coordinated the consolidation of civil society reflections on the Mid-term Review and it’s findings, resulting in several key recommendations to reach the Sendai Framework targets by 2030.

The Sendai Framework Mid-Term Review Political declaration:

On 18 May 2023, the UN General Assembly High-Level Meeting on the Sendai Framework for Disaster Reduction- (2015-2030) unanimously adopted the Sendai Framework Mid-Term political declaration, which affirmed their commitment to the Framework’s four priorities and accelerating progress towards it’s implementation.

With just 7 years left to successfully implement the Sendai Framework to ”substantially reduce disaster risk and losses in lives, livelihoods, and in health and the economic, physical, social, cultural, and environmental assets of persons, businesses, communities, and countries” the political declaration is a welcome step forward towards getting back on track to achieving the framework’s targets.

Marcos Concepcion Raba, GNDR’s Executive Director has  welcomed the adoption of the declaration, saying, “We acknowledge the efforts of all the actors involved, especially UNDRR for their hard work. We also acknowledge that we simply cannot meet the targets and ambitions of the Sendai Framework unless we meaningfully implement an all-of-society approach. Our role as civil society is to support connection and collaboration to make sure local expertise and capacities are meaningfully included in risk governance at all levels.”


Most notably, the declaration emphasizes: 

  • The importance of an all-of society approach in disaster risk reduction and an appreciation for the critical role played by non-State stakeholders, which civil society comprises
  • The need for enhanced support to local authorities and communities, particularly in the least developed and developing countries, and small island developing States

The political declaration calls on member states to: 

  • Strengthen risk governance at all levels of national governments, strengthen capacity and enhance resources for risk governance at the local level; and promote community participation and ownership through community-based disaster risk management approaches
  • Ensure stronger co-ordination and coherence for risk-governance at local, national, regional, and global levels through legal and regulatory frameworks
  • Promote the full, equal, effective, and inclusive participation and contribution of marginalized communties, including women, youth, children, older persons, persons with disabilities, Indigenous Peoples and local communities
  • Promote gender-responsive and inclusive participation and leadership of women and differently-abled persons in the implementation of the Sendai Framework
  • Promote disaster risk reduction policies and strategies that reduce displacement risk in the context of disasters, and support durable solutions to disaster displacement through international, regional, subregional, transboundary, and bilateral cooperation
  • Ensure the use of traditional, Indigenous, and local knowledge and practices to complement scientific knowledge in disaster risk assessment
  • Integrate disaster and health risk management, drawing lessons learned from COVID-19
  • Mainstream disaster risk reduction in their sustainable development agendas

What next:

In reflection of the Sendai Framework Mid-Term Review Political Declaration, GNDR commits to supporting the UN system and member states. Specifically, we commit to prioritising the following key actions and we call on fellow civil society organisations to collaborate to do the same:

  1. Listen to communities: we will amplify local perceptions of risk and integrate them with scientific analyses of risks at the local level to realise risk-informed development
  2.  Invest at the local level: we will act as a catalyst for local leadership in anticipating and tacking increasing disaster risks 
  3. Improve coordination and coherence for risk-informed development: we will coordinate civil society voices and perceptions on DRR at local, national, regional, and global levels 
  4.  Empower women leaders. Recognise and tackle gender inequality as a driver of risk: we will capture and communicate evidence of how such inequality leads to increasing disaster risks and promote the importance of women leadership at all levels we work in 
  5. Strengthen DRR governance in conflict-affected states: we will unpack the relationship between conflict and increases in vulnerability towards multiple hazards and deteriorating social capital 
  6. Involve children and youth in disaster risk reduction: we will intentionally invest in youth leadership and their aspiration for a resilient society 
  7. Learn from Covid 19: we will capture evidence of the cascading nature of risks and promote good practices on strengthening risk governance at the local level 
  8. Integrate inclusion across all levels. In assisting the transition from seeing inclusion as a standalone topic: we will mainstream inclusion in all DRR programmes as a collective CSO effort, globally.


Read the full political declaration
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