2013 Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction Side Event on Disability Inclusiveness

May 22, 2013

JOINT PRESS RELEASE

2013 Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction
Side Event on Disability Inclusiveness

Geneva, 22 May 2013 – A side event on disability inclusiveness was held today, from 13:00 to 13:55, in the Fourth Session of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (21-23 May 2013). 

 

The side event, “Disability inclusiveness: Widening the participation of persons with disabilities in the post-2015 framework for Disaster Risk Reduction”, co-organised by The Nippon Foundation, the International Disability Alliance (IDA), the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the Disability inclusive DRR Network for Asia and Pacific (DiDRRN) took place today and included the presence of the following speakers: Dr. Jo Matsuzaki, Miyagi University of Education, Japan; Senator Monthian Buntan, Government of the Kingdom of Thailand; Ms Elenoa Kaisau, Fiji Disabled Peoples Association , representing DiDRRN, Pacific Disability Forum and IDA; Ms Marcie Roth, Office of Disability Integration and Coordination, Federal Emergency Management Agency, United States, and Ms Sae Kani, Malteser International, as moderator. The purposes of the event were to increase awareness and visibility of disability inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and to create an opportunity to discuss the collective approach to the inclusion of the rights of persons with disabilities in the post-2015 framework for DRR. 

In the last years there has been a significant progress in addressing the exclusion of persons with disabilities from disaster risk reduction plans and policies, as evidenced by the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2006), the agreed Incheon Strategy to Make the Right Real for Persons with Disabilities in Asia and the Pacific (2012), and the Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (Yogyakarta Declaration) (2012), which recognizes the inclusion of persons with disabilities within disaster risk reduction planning. However, the reality is that persons with disabilities remain at high risk with respect to humanitarian crisis situations such as natural disasters. Bringing the current situation of exclusion to participants’ attention, Dr. Jo Matsuzaki from the Miyagi University of Education asked participants, "Have you not forgotten persons with disabilities in your disaster preparedness, disaster relief and restoration plans?"

The Global Platform for Disaster Reduction is a biennial forum whose main goal is to improve implementation of DRR through better communication and coordination amongst stakeholders. Participants in the side event launched the message that persons with disabilities can contribute to the effective implementation of the DRR initiatives by identifying possible solutions based on their needs and experience. They recommended to include the rights of persons with disabilities in the revised Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA2), the post-2015 framework for DRR, in consultation with persons with disabilities and their representative organizations. They called for establishing a consensus on a collective approach towards inclusion of the rights of persons with disabilities in the post-2015 development framework.

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