BEIRUT, 18 December 2018 - Resilient sustainable development is only possible through an all-of-society approach.
This was the sentiment that echoed through the Second Arab Partnership Meeting for Disaster Risk Reduction held in Lebanon.
The two-day meeting brought together more than 35 stakeholders and partners from across the Arab region representing children and youth, elderly, local communities, academia, science and technology practitioners, international and regional organizations, and the United Nations.
“It really is encouraging to see how the commitment of stakeholders is turning them into true agents of change towards implementing disaster risk reduction across the Arab region,” said Sujit Mohanty, Chief of UNISDR Regional Office for Arab States as he welcomed participants.
UNISDR provides a platform to enhance cooperation and collaboration between national governments, development partners and stakeholders to enhance coherence in the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2030, the global plan for reducing disaster risk.
Currently, there are five self-organized stakeholder groups in the Arab region focusing on disaster risk reduction: the Arab Science and Technology Advisory Group; the Arab DRR Children & Youth Group; the Arab DRR Civil Society Group; the Arab Gender Equality and Women Empowerment Group; and the Arab Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies.
All these groups have delivered their voluntary action statements in support of the implementation of the Sendai Framework and the Arab Strategy for DRR 2030.
“It is extremely true that alone we could do so little, but together we could do so much,” said Ghada Ahamdein who is representing the Arab Civil Society Stakeholder Group.
“Effective partnerships are the core of success for civil society organizations as they play a major role in the implementation of the Sendai Framework,” Ms Ahamdein added.
The group has already started putting together a concrete work plan that will kick start the implementation of the voluntary action statement, enriched with contributions from civil organizations representatives from Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Mauritania, Morocco, Syria, Sudan and Yemen, Lebanon.
Other stakeholder groups have also stepped up their work plans including the most recent active group representing children and youth who are calling for stronger engagement in the policy and the implementation of the Sendai Framework.
“We make up a huge portion of the society and we are giving it 100%, disaster risk reduction practitioners and policy makers should utilize our capacities and empower us,” concluded Marwa Menshawy who represents the United Nations Major Group for Children and Youth in the Arab region.
The 2nd Arab Partnership Meeting for Disaster Risk Reduction was organized by UNISDR and brought together representatives from FAO, UNESCWA, ITU, Helpage, AUDI, UNMGCY, WHO, IFRC, Arab Water Council, in addition to members of the stakeholder groups.