Statement by Ambassador Norihiro Okuda
Deputy Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations
at The Secretary-General's Ministerial Meeting
on Reducing Disaster Risks in a Changing Climate
29 September 2008 at 3.30-5.30 pm in the ECOSOC Chamber
Let me begin by expressing my heartfelt appreciation to the Secretary-General for hosting today's meeting. It is my great honor to have an opportunity to speak at this significant meeting.
Climate change is an important issue which directly relates to human security and sustainable development. One consequence of climate change is that natural disasters, such as cyclones, flooding and droughts, are becoming more and more severe, and the frequency of such disasters is increasing globally. These disasters have led to great devastation of human life and property, especially in countries most vulnerable to disasters, including the Least Developed Countries. We must act now to reduce these damages. In particular, in our efforts to adapt to climate change, we must more strictly enforce measures to reduce the risk of disaster.
I would like to address some of these measures that need to be taken for disaster risk reduction. First, it is extremely urgent for disaster risk reduction to be mainstreamed into development policy. In this context, we need to promote globally the implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015, which systematically integrates disaster risk reduction into sustainable development and measures for poverty eradication, and specifies priorities for action for its implementation. Second, another significant measure for disaster risk reduction is the accumulation of more scientific and more accurate data, which will allow enhanced evaluation of disaster risks and superior prediction of the occurrence of natural disasters, including the effects of climate change. Third, since developing countries, especially Least Developed Countries, are vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change, we should actively address resource mobilization. Resource mobilization is an internationally important issue for promoting adaptation measures to adverse effects of climate change, including measures for disaster risk reduction.
Since olden times, Japan has suffered from various types of natural disasters because of its particular natural conditions, such as geography, topography, geology and meteorology. Based on these many years of experience responding to natural disasters, Japan has accumulated expertise and developed technologies for disaster risk reduction, and has cultivated a culture conscious of the need for reducing disaster risks in society. Today, Japan, one of the leading countries in disaster risk reduction, promotes international cooperation in this field, aiming to enable other countries suffering from natural disasters to utilize our expertise and technologies.
As long as we, humankind, live with nature, we will always have to struggle with tackling natural disasters. Japan calls on all actors to address this issue with high priority as a challenge closely related to climate change, so that we can build the resilience of nations and communities to disasters.
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