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Rede von Außenminister Frank-Walter Steinmeier bei der Veranstaltung “Commitments and Opportunities to Implement the Nansen Initiative Protection Agenda” im Rahmen des World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul

23.05.2016 - Rede

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Ladies and gentlemen,

Climate change is a challenge that affects us all. And, what is more, it is a challenge that has a direct humanitarian impact.

Over the past 20 years, the number of natural disasters has doubled from around 200 to 400 per year. Natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes or droughts are forcing millions of people to leave their homes every year.

This is a huge challenge that we need to address.

Germany is a trailblazer not just in climate protection, but also in how to adapt correctly to the humanitarian repercussions of climate change. Over the past few years, we have taken major steps to shape a humanitarian approach to climate change.

We have launched a Preparedness Initiative, triggering a paradigm shift towards forward-looking, anticipatory humanitarian assistance.

We want the people at risk to be able to make preparations before disasters happen. This includes early-warning mechanisms, contingency plans and training measures.

The German Foreign Office has launched a special Action Plan for Humanitarian Adaptation to Climate Change. Together with the German Red Cross and international partners, we are developing an instrument that releases humanitarian funding for preparedness projects based on scientific forecasts of extreme weather events.

Ladies and gentlemen,

I believe that our understanding of humanitarian assistance has become broader, moving from crisis management towards risk management. One reason for that is climate change and the dangers it brings.

The Nansen Initiative addresses this enormous challenge. Germany has supported this Initiative from an early stage. And we are honoured to soon take up the Chair of the new Platform on Disaster Displacement with Bangladesh as Vice-Chair.

The implementation of the Nansen Protection Agenda will guide our Chairmanship.

I would like to thank Switzerland and Norway for their great commitment in developing this agenda and for chairing the Nansen Initiative. I would also like to express my thanks to all countries working with us in the Steering Group of the Platform and I am grateful for the UNHCR’s and IOM’s resolve to work closely with it.

As Chair, we will pay particular attention to protection projects in high-risk regions. Our goal is to promote best practices to address, prevent and better prepare for disaster displacement. We aim to strengthen the protection of those displaced internally.

Over the next few weeks, we will further elaborate our Chairmanship agenda. Our deliberations today are the first step.

But, ladies and gentlemen, there is one thing we know already: we can’t achieve the goals of the Nansen Protection Agenda alone. Therefore I invite you to join our activities and support the platform!

I believe all of us here share common goals: to help make sure that we are as well prepared as possible for the humanitarian consequences of climate change. And: to ensure that humanitarian assistance can help reduce the most dangerous risks to the world’s most vulnerable people.

Thank you very much.

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