26 October 2010

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

As Floods, Earthquakes Increase in Frequency, Intensity, Secretary-General Urges


Long-term Engagement on Climate Change, Investment in Disaster Risk Reduction


Following is UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s video message for the Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, in Incheon, Republic of Korea, 26 October:

Distinguished ministers, Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

Disaster risks are growing.  These risks are concentrated in developing and middle-income countries, and they are increasing, due to climate change.

The recent floods in Pakistan have highlighted the effects of extreme weather.  Great expanses of land are under water.  More than 20 million people have been affected.

Such disasters remind us about the urgent need to invest more in risk reduction.  This demands our sustained engagement over the longer term.  Disasters pose a threat to all our development goals and aspirations.

Disaster risk must also be included in our development strategies and our thinking about climate change mitigation.

There are proven ways to reduce risks and cope with the aftermath of a disaster — compulsory and routine risk assessments; environmental protection; sound urban planning and building codes; early warning systems; public education; and insurance

The Hyogo Framework for Actionis our global plan to increase resilience and make our world a safer place.

With the right approach, we can achieve a triple victory:  against poverty; against disasters; and against climate change.

The United Nations system, and I personally, will do our utmost to back you in this effort.

I wish you a successful and productive meeting.

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For information media • not an official record