Disaster risk reduction discussed during a high-level UN visit
Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Ministry of the Interior inform
Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction Robert Glasser and Petteri Taalas, Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), will visit Finland on 3–4 October. Glasser will participate in the annual meeting of the European Forum for Disaster Risk Reduction (EFDRR), held in Helsinki. Finland is the current Chair of the EFDRR.
Special Representative Glasser will have meetings with Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Kai Mykkänen, Minister of the Interior Paula Risikko and President Tarja Halonen, the UN Global Champion for Disaster Risk Reduction, nominated by the UN Secretary-General. While in Finland, Glasser will also visit, for example, the Finnish Meteorological Institute and Vaisala oyj and learn about Finnish expertise.
The visit will focus on the Sendai Framework for Disaster Reduction, adopted last year in Sendai, Japan. It is a UN-led strategy for efforts to reduce natural disasters and diminish loss and damage in the next fifteen years (2015–2030).
Finland played an active role in the preparation and implementation of the UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai City. In accordance with the the Sendai Framework, all UN Member States must prepare national action plans to reduce the risk of disasters, using jointly defined indicators. In Finland, the work is led by the Ministry of the Interior.
It is estimated that the cost of damages caused by natural disasters is at least USD 300 billion every year. By means of preventive measures we can save lives and also an enormous amount of money. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called for a transition from the management of disasters to disaster risk reduction. Climate change will increase the risk of extreme weather phenomena especially in densely populated areas in the developing countries.
Claus Jerker Lindroos, Director, Unit for Humanitarian Assistance and Policy, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, tel. +358 40 132 1416
Taito Vainio, Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of the Interior, tel. +358 295 488 423 (matters related to the implementation of the Sendai strategy).