Focus action on Water and Disasters
UNSGAB stresses the importance of further action on the issue of disaster risk reduction, in line with the outcomes of the UN Special Thematic Session on Water and Disasters and the High-level Expert Panel on Water and Disaster (HLEP/ UNSGAB) both held in March 2013. During the next phase, UNSGAB members and secretariat will undertake the following actions in close collaboration and coordination with the newly formed High-level Experts and Leaders' Panel on Water and Disasters (HELP/UNSGAB). Board Members will actively respond to occasions to advocate for national, regional and local policies and cooperation measures which can reduce disaster risks. UNSGAB supports the principles and approach to priority action, developed and summarized in six urgent imperatives formulated in "Water and disaster: High-Level Expert Panel on Water and Disaster/UNSGAB, May 2009"

  • Galvanize and mobilize before disaster strikes
  • Actions and systems to inform, protect, warn and evacuate are of paramount importance
  • Risk reduction measures to be incorporated in national development planning
  • Create and support occasions to share lessons of disaster response
  • Arrangements to provide safe drinking water and sanitation are a key element to effective disaster response
  • Data creation and collection on response measures are imperative

UNSGAB commits to:

  • Create an occasion for a dialogue focusing on water and disasters in the South Asian area in the eventuality that a Board meeting can be organized in the region.
  • Encourage the cooperation between UNSGAB and UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (ISDR) with support of HELP/UNSGAB to ensure the mainstreaming of the HLEP/UNSGAB goals, objectives, lessons learned and best practices from the 2009 report into the mission of the UN system.
  • Encourage the creation of specific dialogues on lessons learned and best practices in response to water related disasters.
    • At UN (GA and ECOSOC)
    • At the 7th World Water Forum in Korea in 2015
    • At relevant ISDR, World Meteorological Organization (WMO), FAO, UN-Habitat meetings
    • At the Milan 2015 exhibition (ExpoMilano)
  • Within the existing resource constraints, assist HELP/UNSGAB to strengthen its functions to implement its Action Plan which will include continued advocacy toward tangible, numerical targets for disaster risk reduction as part of the post-MDG and SDG

The success and impact of these efforts will also depend on actions by others:

  • National and local governments, civil society, private sector and other stakeholders meet their objectives under the Hyogo Framework.
  • ISDR and WMO step up their disaster preparedness efforts.
  • Partners participating in the Special Thematic Session on Water and Disasters act on the commitments made.
  • All levels of governments strengthen public education and increase response capacity on disaster prevention and reduction.
  • All countries pay attention to capacity building in formulating national disaster reduction planning and strategies including with a focus on training staff and reducing health and safety risks while training staff to qualify for disaster prevention.

United Nations