International Day for Disaster Reduction Conference at the Grand SerailOct 16, 2017
Under the patronage of the President of the Council of Ministers, His Excellency Mr. Saad Hariri, and in collaboration with the Embassies of Switzerland and Netherlands, the UNDP Disaster Risk Management project hel a full-day conference and exhibition at the Grand Serail in Beirut on Monday.
The conference celebrated the International Day for Disaster Reduction (IDDR), with the presence of DRM implementation stakeholders and partners in Lebanon. Among them, Representative of the Minister of Defense, Representatives of the Lebanese Armed Forces, Internal Security Forces, Governor of Baalbek, Governor of South, Director Generals, Director General of Civil Defense, Secretary General of the Lebanese Red Cross, Secretary General of CNRS, as well as members of the national DRM coordination committee, the DRM committees in the Governorates, Cazas, Union of Municipalities, and several ministries – were all present.
The UNDP Country Director, Celine Moyroud, addressed at the opening speech of the conference, “on behalf of UNDP, I want to reaffirm our engagement to this partnership and to this project, out of our belief in the importance of institutionalizing disaster risk management. Indeed, it is the only sustainable way to prevent loss of lives and properties due to the destructive impact of natural and human induced disasters.”
Mrs. Moyroud stressed on the importance of the support provided by the embassies of Switzerland and the Netherlands and the assistance of the European Union as well as the government of Kuwait.
Being among the contributors to the DRM in Lebanon, and main supporter of this event, the Swiss Ambassador to Lebanon Mrs. Monika Schmutz Kirgöz admired the progress achieved by the DRM unit as well as the commitment to develop a resilient society facing all sorts of natural and man-made disasters.
The Head of the Disaster Risk Management coordination committee and Secretary General of the Higher Council of Defense, Major General Saadallah Hamad, presented the completed highlights in Disaster Risk Management on all: national, local, and sector levels. General Hamad restated the need for continuous efforts to develop a resilient nation countering disasters, despite the commitment of the government in developing a disaster risk management structure.
The Minister of Interior and Municipalities Nouhad Machnouk, representing Prime Minister Saad Hariri, assured the government's devotion in enhancing Lebanon's disaster risk management capacities. “We would like to thank the UNDP Lebanon, our partner in these achievements. We hope to continue forth with our fruitful partnership in the years to come,” added Interior Minister Machnouk.
Later during the conference, Minister Mashnouk opened the exhibition that showcased various DRM partners such as the Civil Defense and the Lebanese Red Cross – with their DRM operation tools and equipment. The event also witnessed discussion panels and presentations, one of which showcased the progress attained in executing the DRM project’s response-to-disaster plans.
“The success of the SDGs indeed depends on our collective commitment to addressing and reducing risks inherent to rapid urbanization, poverty, environmental deterioration and climate change. A long way is still ahead of us in reducing the risk of disasters” added UNDP Country Director Celine Moyroud.