United Nations


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

11 February 1997


Fifty-first session
Agenda item 97 (f)


           [on the report of the Second Committee (A/51/605/Add.6)]

            51/185.     International Decade for Natural
                        Disaster Reduction

      The General Assembly,

      Recalling its resolutions 44/236 of 22 December 1989, 48/188 of
21 December 1993, 49/22 A of 2 December 1994, 49/22 B of 20 December
1994 and 50/117 A and B of 20 December 1995, and Economic and Social
Council resolution 1996/45 of 26 July 1996,

      Expressing its solidarity with the people and countries that
suffer as a result of natural disasters and expressing also the
deepest sympathy to all victims of the natural disasters that have
struck in various parts of the globe,

      Emphasizing once again the urgent need for concrete measures to
reduce the vulnerability of societies to natural hazards, the loss of
human lives and the heavy physical and economic damage that occur as a
result of natural disasters, in particular in developing countries,
small island developing States and landlocked countries,

      Commending those countries, national and local institutions,
organizations and associations that have adopted policies, allocated
resources and initiated action programmes, including international
assistance, for disaster reduction and, in this context, welcoming the
participation of private companies and individuals,

      1.    Takes note of the report of the Secretary-General; 1/

      2.    Reaffirms that disaster reduction forms an integral part of
sustainable development strategies and national development plans of
vulnerable countries and communities;

      3.    Calls upon all States, relevant intergovernmental bodies and
all others involved in the International Decade for Natural Disaster
Reduction to participate actively in the financial and technical
support for Decade activities, in order to ensure the implementation
of the International Framework of Action for the Decade, 2/ in
particular with a view to translating the Yokohama Strategy for a
Safer World:  Guidelines for Natural Disaster Prevention, Preparedness
and Mitigation and the Plan of Action contained therein 3/ into
concrete disaster reduction programmes and activities;

      4.    Commends all countries, in particular those developing and
least developed countries, that have mobilized domestic resources for
disaster reduction activities and have facilitated the effective
implementation of such activities, and encourages all developing
countries concerned to continue in this direction;

      5.    Reaffirms the need to support the implementation of the
Yokohama Strategy and its Plan of Action with particular regard to
improving education and training in disaster reduction, including the
creation of interdisciplinary and technical networking at all levels,
for the purpose of capacity-building and human resources development
in developing countries, in particular those that are prone to natural
disasters, as well as least developed, small island developing and
landlocked countries;

      6.    Welcomes the initiatives aimed at defining regional
frameworks for disaster mitigation, such as the regional seminars held
in Africa and the Mediterranean;

      7.    Stresses the need for synergy between the implementation of
the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small
Island Developing States 4/ and that of the Yokohama Strategy and its
Plan of Action as they relate to natural disaster reduction;

      8.    Underlines the need for the United Nations system to ensure
the integration of the Yokohama Strategy and its Plan of Action into
the coordinated approach taken to the follow-up to all recent major
United Nations conferences and summit meetings and to the
implementation of their respective plans of action;

      9.    Invites the Secretary-General, in particular, to facilitate,
within the existing International Framework of Action for the Decade,
an internationally concerted framework for improvements in early
warning by developing a concrete proposal for an effective
international mechanism on early warning, to include the transfer of
technologies related to early warning to developing countries, under
the auspices of the United Nations and as part of the implementation
of the International Framework of Action for the Decade and the
Yokohama Strategy and its Plan of Action;

      10.   Calls upon the secretariat of the Decade to continue to
facilitate a concerted international approach to improvements in early
warning capacities for natural disasters and similar disasters with
adverse impact on the environment within the process leading towards
the closing event of the Decade;

      11.   Recommends that adequate consideration be given to the
International Framework of Action for the Decade as part of the
evaluation and overall review and appraisal of the implementation of
Agenda 21 5/ in 1997;

      12.   Reaffirms that the secretariat of the Decade will continue
to serve as the substantive secretariat for the preparation of the
closing event of the Decade, working with the full support of relevant
bodies of the United Nations Secretariat and drawing on the
contributions of the organizations of the United Nations system
concerned, other international organizations and Governments;

      13.   Requests the Secretary-General to continue to appeal for
additional voluntary contributions to the Trust Fund for the Decade;

      14.   Also requests the Secretary-General to bring forward, as a
first step in the process leading towards the closing event of the
Decade and in order to begin the preparatory process in 1998,
proposals arising from consultation with interested parties, and to
set forth in his substantive report to the General Assembly at its
fifty-second session proposals regarding the format, substance and
timing of the event, also taking into account, inter alia, the need to
review relationships and responsibilities relevant to natural disaster
reduction with respect to the future and the performance capability of
the secretariat of the Decade.

                                                          86th plenary meeting
                                                              16 December 1996


1/    A/51/186-E/1996/80.

2/    See resolution 44/236, annex.

3/    A/CONF.172/9, chap. I, resolution 1, annex I.

4/    Report of the Global Conference on the Sustainable Development of
Small Island Developing States, Bridgetown, Barbados, 25 April-6 May
1994 (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.94.I.18 and corrigenda),
chap. I, resolution 1, annex II.

5/    Report of the United Nations Conference on Environment and
Development, Rio de Janeiro, 3-14 June 1992 (A/CONF.151/26/Rev.1 (Vol.
I and Vol. I/Corr.1, Vol. II, Vol. III and Vol. III/Corr.1)) (United
Nations publication, Sales No. E.93.I.8 and corrigenda), vol. I: 
Resolutions Adopted by the Conference, resolution 1, annex II.


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