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United Nations, New York, 13 October 2011

On the occasion of the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction


On the occasion of this year’s International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction, I urge all stakeholders and Member States to accelerate efforts to improve their own disaster preparedness, and to unite in finding ways to become more effective, coordinated and holistic in our approach.

I extend my full support for this year’s focus on “Making Children and Young People Partners for Disaster Risk Reduction”.   The world has been experiencing an unprecedented number of natural and man-made disasters, with populations facing increased vulnerability, food insecurity, and crises in the areas of health and education. Children and young people have been among those that have been worst affected by these disasters.  The international community should do more in equipping children and youth to deal with disasters.

I have identified the theme of “Improving disaster prevention and response”, as one of the four main areas of work for the General Assembly during this 66th Session.  I believe that investing in disaster preparedness is the most efficient way of increasing our resilience in addressing risk and vulnerability to natural hazards, and should be prioritised among the various measures needed to improve disaster prevention and response.

On this International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction, I reiterate my willingness to work with all stakeholders to make progress in our efforts to deal with disaster prevention and response, including further advancing the implementation of Hyogo Framework for Action for building the resilience of nations and communities to disasters.  I urge all Member States to increase and strengthen efforts at all levels, including at individual, school, community, national, regional and international levels, to save lives, especially those of children and young people.



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