Opening a major United Nations conference on risk reduction in Cancun, Mexico, Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed cautioned that the world would not reach its development goals without tackling climate change and disaster risk.
Human and economic losses from disasters cannot continue at current levels if we are going to progress with the Sustainable Development Goals, the Deputy Secretary-General said at the opening on Wednesday evening.
Held every two years since the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami to discuss disaster reduction, the 2017 Global Platform � the fifth such event to date � is bringing together some 6,000 Heads of State, policy makers, disaster risk managers, civil society and other participants.
This is the first international summit on disaster since the Sendai Framework, which was adopted in 2015 in the northern Japanese city after which it was named, and consists of seven targets and four priorities for action that aim for the substantial reduction of disaster risk and losses in lives, livelihoods and health and in the economic, physical, social, cultural and environmental assets of persons, businesses, communities and countries.
Last year, 445 million people were affected by disasters linked to natural hazards worldwide including floods, storms, earthquakes and drought, 8,000 people lost their lives and direct economic losses from major disaster events were estimated at $138.8 billion.
The World Bank estimates that the real cost to the global economy from disasters is $520 billion per year and that they push 24 million people into poverty annually.
The challenge is how we are going to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) if annual economic losses from disasters can wipe out the entire GDP of a low income country overnight and force millions from their homes, Ms. Mohammed said.
Source: UN News Centre