HFA 2 – DRR Regional Consultation

On 1-2 of April the UN Central Asia and South Caucasus Disaster Risk Reduction regional conference held in Alma-Ata, the aim of which was to discuss the guarantee of continuity of HFA 2 after 2015. Sixty representatives from seven countries participated in the conference. Director of MoES Rescue Service, Nikolay Grigoryan, director of DRR National Platform (ARNAP) Foundation Movses Poghosyan, rector of Crisis Management State Academy Hamlet Matevosyan, UNDP DRR program coordinator Armen Chilingaryan, head of department of Ministry of Health, Division of Maternal and reproductive health Gayane Avagyan, DRR program officer of OXFAM international organization Zaruhi Tonoyan, program coordinator of “Support to Communities” BNGO Karine Gabrielyan participated from Republic of Armenia. Below is the official statement of RA about HFA 2, which was presented by Mr. Grigoryan.

Official Statement of the Republic of Armenia

Dear colleagues, ladies and gentlemen, I would like to welcome the participants of the regional meeting to this wonderful initiative which is another opportunity for us all to summarize HFA achievements and lessons learned in our countries, establish new cooperation mechanisms, share best practices, as well as to discuss HFA further developments and recommendations.
As a UN member state, Armenia joined the Hyogo Framework for Action in 2005. The Government of the Republic of Armenia (RA) has undertaken serious steps in the recent years towards the HFA implementation, and especially, to integrate disaster risk reduction into development policies and programmes as a priority action for the country’s development and safety. In particular:
1. By a Decree of the Government of the RA, Disaster Risk Reduction National Platform was established and the DRR National Strategy was approved which was developed with the direct support of the UNDP based on the priority actions of the Sustainable Development Programme and the Hyogo Framework for Action.
2. With the direct involvement of the Crisis Management State Academy of MoES and support of UNDP, “Local Level Risk Management” common methodology was developed and introduced with a special attention to building local level risk reduction culture. It is the local level that mainly suffers from disasters as communities are not disaster resilient. The first response to disasters also happens at local level; therefore focusing on it in HFA 2 is a key priority.
3. With the initiative of the DRR National Platform, MADRID programme was adapted and is being used in the training courses for specialists.
4. 10 cities joined the UNISDR “Making Cities Resilient” disaster reduction global campaign.
5. With the efforts of the Ministry of Emergency Situations and the support of UNDP and Swiss Development Cooperation the Crisis Management Centre was established as a common platform for information and operational management.
6. Within the frame of National Platform DRR issues were incorporated into the country’s education development programmes by introducing education measures with the direct efforts of the Ministry of Emergency Situations, Ministry of Education and Science, Crisis Management State Academy, UNICEF, World Vision Armenia.
7. The heads of regional rescue branches were appointed as the regional HFA focal points by the order of the Minister of Emergency Situations.
8. People with disabilities were given special attention and 30 were employed by the Ministry of Emergency Situations of the RA. In general, 49% of over 100 specialists employed in the Centre are women.
Main drivers of these achievements are understanding the importance of HFA implementation and the political will, as well as assistance and experience of international and local organisations including the DRR National Platform, UNDP, UNOCHA, UNISDR, UNICEF, OXFAM, CARD, World Vision Armenia, Armenian Red Cross Society, Emergency Channel, Rescue team “Lore” and others. We understand that disaster risk management cannot be the monopoly of one body in the country, and resilient development of the country requires involvement of all structures, as well as active and direct participation of local and international organisations.
HFA implementation enabled foundation of basis for DRR development; however, these are only the first steps of the long path for building a resilient country and society. Armenia has strong experiential basis, operational mechanisms, best practices and lessons learned on DRR since adoption of HFA in 2005 and even before that. These experiences inform the policy development and institutional structure of the Republic of Armenia for HFA 2.
Today we have gathered here to express our opinion and outlook on HFA-2. We have carefully studied the HFA-2 recommendations and completely agree with the recommended policy. At the same time, we have prepared a package of recommendations with Armenia’s official opinion and suggestions. They are as follows:
1. DRR is development: Integration of DRR into post 2015 development agenda
– Include disaster risk reduction priorities as a component in the global development processes of post 2015 (Sustainable Development Goals).
– Conduct national and local level risk studies related to the issues of disaster- and eco-migrants with further inclusion into the DRR National Strategy.

2. Information management and public awareness
– Development of a code of conduct for the media representatives for implementation during emergency situations, including legislative and institutional framework on information dissemination.
– Strengthening DRR awareness and training resource centres for media.

3. Local level risk management and development of resilient cities
– Prioritise, support and promote local level active involvement in disaster risk management policy making and implementation processes; identify relevant mechanisms.
– Pay special attention to the main issues and processes of making cities resilient; support and promote their implementation with improved capacity development for municipal and local levels.
– More than half of world’s population leaves in urban areas. Urbanization levels will increase in the next decade. Risk patterns in the cities are complex and multi hazardous.
– Integrate disaster risk management issues into community development programmes paying attention to possible mutual influence and relation between community development processes and disaster risks.

4. Dissemination of DRR knowledge and education
– Use a systematised approach to building a DRR culture by considering the latter as a multi-component process for various population target groups in order to further develop culture of safety and resilience.

5. Risk assessment and Governance
– Risk informed decision-making processes, fixed allocation of resources for DRR, improved accountability and reporting, legal and institutional frameworks for DRR to set normative standards, decentralization of responsibilities from national to local level, broad participation and capacitation of all governance actors including the entire government system, civil society, private sector.
– Promote and contribute to localisation and dissemination of best practices of disaster risk identification, assessment and modelling, DRR education and awareness raising methodology, use of innovative technologies in countries of similar risk exposure, which will enable risk informed decision making on national and local levels.
– Promote technological, technical and financial capacity development for assessment of vulnerability to hazards and disaster risk.

Gender related issues as well as matters of vulnerable groups such as people with disabilities, children and others are to be considered as crosscutting issues in the highlighted priority directions insuring both the equal opportunities for everyone in terms of their participation and consideration of related specifics in decision making.
These recommendations have been formulated during the HFA-2 national consultation meeting held in Armenia with the active participation of the representatives of the public management, local self-government, organisations, private sector, civil society, local and international organisations, scientific and educational institutions, people with disabilities and vulnerable groups. Thus, it expresses the opinion of the whole country.
Concluding my speech, I would like to add that we must realise that today one of the major reasons for disasters is human irresponsible development and attitude towards the planet Earth.
Time has come now to stop and finally accept that instead of devastating our living environment, we must join our efforts to provide the future generations with a safer and resilient planet.
Thank you.

You can view the photos by following link.