Following is the text of welcome address by Minister of State for Home Affairs, Shri Kiren Rijiju at the inauguration of Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR) 2016,:
“On behalf of the Government and people of India, I welcome all the distinguished delegates and representatives. It is indeed a great honour and privilege for Government of India to host the First Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction after adoption of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (2015-2030) by 187 countries at the World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai, Japan in 2015. The Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction 2016 will provide a unique opportunity to shape the implementation and monitoring of the Sendai Framework in Asia.
On behalf of Government of India, I am thankful to the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction for their continuous support in organising this Conference and express my sincere gratitude for acknowledging India’s efforts in disaster risk reduction and designating me as Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) Champion for Asia Region.
In the last few decades Asia-Pacific region has experienced exponential increase in disasters. These have often hampered the achievement of development goals. The harshest impact is often on the most vulnerable and marginalised people. The impact of natural disasters has been growing rapidly due to global population growth, urbanization and increased socio-economic activity—with a tenfold increase in losses from disasters since the 1970s.
Sendai is a forward looking and ambitious framework aimed at reducing the number of people affected and damage to critical infrastructure from disasters by 2030. Successful implementation of the Sendai Framework at national and local level calls for critical attention to its guiding principles and seven global targets. Countries will need to adopt the guiding principles while prioritizing action towards the seven global targets. This will entail creation of an enabling environment at all levels towards effective and accelerated implementation of the Sendai Framework, with the collaboration and cooperation of all governments and stakeholders.
India is amongst the first countries to frame National Disaster Management Plan under the able guidance of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. Our endeavour in the National Disaster Management Plan is to take all stakeholders along in our efforts to build a resilient India. We believe that while governments have to pay a central role, civil society organizations, professional bodies, scientific and technical institutions and the private sector have to play important role in this effort.
We need to move from disaster management to disaster risk management approach and to look at it as development governance issue. This Conference will provide a unique opportunity to shape the efforts towards disaster preparedness & risk management for effective response and to “Build Back Better” in recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction. This Conference will provide single platform for meaningful exchange of information and sharing of ideas and also coordination among the stakeholders to bring greater synergies in the effort by all stakeholders based on their experiences. I urge all the stakeholders to discuss and work together for reducing the disaster risk and to make Asian region a safer place for sustainable development.
I once again welcome you all to India and wish this conference all success.”