Christoph Strässer, the Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the Federal Foreign Office, is travelling to Sendai in Japan from 14 to 16 March to lead the German delegation at the third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction together with the Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development Thomas Silberhorn.
Christoph Strässer issued the following statement:
Natural disasters such as droughts, floods, earthquakes and storms cause up to 270 billion euros of damage to the world economy each year and cost countless lives. Around one million people have died as a result of natural disasters in the past ten years alone. Climate change is increasing this risk still further. In the last twenty years, the number of natural disasters has doubled from 200 to 400 per year. In developing countries in particular, the intensity and increasing number of disasters often undermine decades of development efforts and are a decisive factor in the emergence of humanitarian crises. Effective risk reduction and preparedness for disasters saves lives and limits the damage.
The German delegation will therefore be actively seeking to achieve a new global strategy at the conference. The aim must be to reduce existing risks of disaster, avert new risks, bolster global disaster risk reduction measures and make people, institutions and states more resistant to the impacts of natural hazards and extreme weather events.
The Federal Foreign Office has been committed to effective humanitarian disaster risk reduction consisting of risk analysis, disaster prevention and preparedness for years. This also remains our main concern for the new strategy that is to be adopted at the end of the third UN World Conference on 18 March.
In addition to the conference, Christoph Strässer will attend various meetings with Japanese civil society to discuss the death penalty.
The third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction is taking place from 14 to 18 March in Sendai in northeastern Japan. Over 16 heads of state and government, 6 foreign ministers and 60 ministers are to attend the conference, in addition to some 6000 delegates and 100 parliamentarians.
The world conference aims to adopt a global strategy on disaster risk reduction for the next 15 years. The current action plan, the Hyogo Framework for Action, is expiring this year.
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