As many as 51 countries in the Asia-Pacific region today resolved to work for handling all kinds of disasters by strengthening the apparatus and to tackle such exigencies through global frameworks.
In a political statement, termed as the 'New Delhi Declaration', the participating nations of the three-day Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR), 2016, spelt out the commitment towards preventing and reducing disaster risk, and strengthening the resilience of communities.
"Recognising the need to accelerate the implementation of global frameworks, it commits to a people-centred and whole-of-society approach towards Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR). It also emphasises the need to enhance the capacity of communities and ensure participation of all stakeholder groups towards achieving resilience," it said.
The conference also announced an'Asian Regional Plan for Implementation of the Sendai Framework' which focuses on how to reduce disaster risk at national and local levels.
It has arrived at a longer-term road map of cooperation and collaboration, spanning the 15-year horizon of the Sendai Framework, as well as a two-year action plan to further disaster risk reduction with specific, actionable activities.
"Voluntary action statements of stakeholder groups towards a shared responsibility approach in implementation of SFDRR (Sendai Framework for DRR) were also made," it said.
The conference also commemorated the first World Tsunami Awareness Day. The observance of the day stressed on the importance of early warning systems and preparedness of communities in order to mitigate damage from the often devastating natural hazard.
This was the first Asian Ministerial Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction after the advent of SFDRR.
The SFDRR (2015-2030) was adopted at the Third World Conference on DRR at Sendai in Japan in March, 2015. It identifies targets and priority action areas towards reducing disaster risk by "reducing the damage caused by natural hazards like earthquakes, floods, droughts and cyclones through an ethic of prevention".
On Thursday, inaugurating the conference, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had outlined a 10-point agenda for renewing efforts for disaster risk reduction, stressing on encouraging involvement of women volunteers and sought greater cohesion in international response to deal with all kinds of calamities.
Modi had emphasised on working towards risk coverage for all, starting from poor households to small and medium enterprises and multi-national corporations to nation states.
The Prime Minister said all development sectors must imbibe the principles of disaster risk management and encourage involvement and leadership of women as they are the biggest sufferers of any disaster.
"Women are disproportionately affected by disasters. They also have unique strengths and insights. We must train a large number of women volunteers to support special needs of women affected by disasters.
"We need women engineers, masons and building artisans supporting reconstruction, and women self-help groups assisting livelihood recovery," he said.