What? Press Briefing on the importance of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction: “Invest today for a safer tomorrow: Increase investment in local action,” that will take place in Geneva on 08-13 May.
The meeting expects more than 2,000 representatives from government, including Ministers and VIPs, civil society and the private sector to discuss how actions at international, national and local level can help communities to reduce the risk of disasters. The UN Secretary-General will open the meeting together with Margareta Wahlström, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General for Disaster Reduction. The EU will be represented by the Commissioner in charge of International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, Kristalina Georgieva.
Who? -Paola Albrito, Regional Coordinator for Europe, United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction, Regional Coordinator for Europe;
- Martijn Quinn, Member of the cabinet of EU Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva
When? 4 May, 10.30-11.30
Where? UNRIC meeting room, 8th floor, 155 rue de la Loi/Wetstraat. Entrance Block C2
Languages: The briefing will be given in English. Languages for one-on-one: English, French and Italian.
Contacts: Rosa Abruzzese, UNISDR + 32 2 29 02 586 firstname.lastname@example.org
Alexandra Froger, UNRIC + 32 2 78 88 461 email@example.com
Jean-Luc Onckelinx, UNRIC +32 476 215 485 firstname.lastname@example.org
Why so important? Countries around the world have incurred massive and costly damage in the first quarter of 2011 alone, including (among others) US$300 billion as a result of Great East Japan Earthquake; US$8.5 billion from the earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand; and US$9.5 billion from the floods in Australia. “Costs are going up and wealthy countries are paying a heavy price for infrastructure and direct and indirect economic damage.” Last February, Australia announced a deficit in its trade balance after floods disrupted the national economy. Fast-forward to early in April, where a news release estimated the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan to cost the insurance industry between $21 billion and $34 billion, making it the most costly disaster for insurers since Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Need of Action! UNISDR and its partners are calling on world leaders to join the dialogue at the Global Platform to discuss and decide on immediate actions that will reduce the economic cost of disasters. “Economic loss risk will continue to rise across the world, and in particular, in high income countries if we do not manage to reduce vulnerabilities and build safer societies,” said Ms. Wahlström. “This message is equally true for rich and not so rich countries.”
The Brussels based United Nations Regional Information Centre for Western Europe - UNRIC provides information on UN activities to the countries of the region. It also provides liaison with institutions of the European Union in the field of information. Its outreach activities extend to all segments of society and joint campaigns, projects and events are organized with partners including the EU, governments, the media, NGOs, schools and local authorities.
United Nations Regional Information Centre for Western Europe (UNRIC Brussels)
Residence Palace, Rue de la Loi/Wetstraat 155, Block C2,7th and 8th floor, Brussels 1040, Belgium
Tel.: +32 2 788 8484 / Fax: 32 2 788 8485