U.N. Conference in Sendai Adopts Action Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction incorporating Disability-inclusive Perspectives

The third U.N. World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction was held from March 14 to 18, 2015, in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture, focusing one of its working sessions on “disability-inclusive disaster risk reduction” for the first time. The Post-Hyogo Framework for Action adopted at the Sendai conference incorporated the need for disaster management measures inclusive of persons with disabilities and expected to be reflected in future disaster management measures of member states and an important milestone for disability inclusion in international development frameworks such as the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be adopted next fall.

The first meeting of the World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction held in Yokohama in 1994 issued the “Yokohama Strategy and Plan of Action for a Safer World” and the second conference held in Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture, in 2005, adopted the “Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015.”

In the Sendai conference, about 350 side events were held in addition to working sessions and about 10,000 persons attended, including U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. It adopted the “Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030.”

In the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake it was reported that the death rate was two times higher among persons with disabilities compared to the residents in general. This was the first time that the disproportion in risk was confirmed by numbers. The importance of disability-inclusive disaster management has been gaining recognition around the world. It is against this backdrop that the UN World Conference on DRR took this up as one of the themes of its working session for the first time.

“The number of persons with disabilities amount to 15% of the world population or as many as 1 billion,” said Yohei Sasakawa, chairman of the Nippon Foundation who has held international conferences on disaster risk reduction in seven cities in the world and was instrumental in realizing a working session on the subject. With a new framework for action allowing all persons with disabilities to participate adopted, "not only will human suffering in disasters be reduced but it will open up new opportunities for disability inclusive post-disaster recovery,” he added.

Please see the attached for information on related events.

 

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