Celebrating International Day for Disaster Reduction at the Grand SerailOct 20, 2017
17th of October 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 held 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, Representatives of the Minister of Defense, the Lebanese Armed Forces, Internal Security Forces, as well as the Governor of Baalbek, Governor of South, Director Generals, Director General of Civil Defense, Secretary General of the Lebanese Red Cross, Secretary General of CNRS, and members of the national DRM coordination committee, the DRM committees in the Governorates, Cazas, Union of Municipalities, and several ministries – were all present.
IDDR was globally celebrated this year under the slogan “home safe home” with a special focus on prevention, protection and reducing the number of people affected by disasters, in particular the most vulnerable among communities at risk.
In this context, the UNDP Country Director Celine Moyroud pointed out, at the opening speech of the conference, "the successful implementation of the Sendai Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction adopted in 2015 will prove critical towards the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. 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."
She paid a special thanks to the generous support of Switzerland, The Netherlands, the EU and Kuwait for their support to this project noting that the UNDP has been able to work hand in hand with the Prime Minister’s Office on strengthening Lebanon’s disaster management capacities.
Being the main contributor to the DRM in Lebanon, 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, the Lebanese Red Cross, and the Ministry of Health– with their DRM operation tools and equipment. The event also witnessed discussion panels and presentations which showcased the results of multi hazard and risk assessment reports prepared by CNRS, the progress attained in executing the National response-to-disaster plan, a successful model of the Union of Municipalities of Tyre in cities resilience, as well as DRR awareness campaigns and tools.
"I would like to commend the Government of Lebanon for its efforts in promoting disaster reduction (…) and reaffirm our continued support, to broaden the emphasis from managing disasters to managing disaster risk as outlined in the Sendai Framework", added UNDP Country Director Celine Moyroud.