Sunday, March 15, 2015
MANILA-Senator Loren Legarda and fellow United Nations champions for disaster risk reduction (DRR) will lead a global campaign to raise awareness on DRR and climate change adaptation (CCA) following a special meeting with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and UN Office for DRR (UNISDR) head Margareta Wahlstrom on Sunday, 15 March 2015.
Legarda, UNISDR Champion for DRR and CCA for Asia-Pacific, said that UNSG Ban Ki-moon has encouraged the UN DRR Champions to lead DRR-CCA awareness campaigns in their respective regions, especially in vulnerable communities.
“As DRR Champions, we all agree that it is our duty to undertake initiatives to make our regions, nations, communities, and the whole world safer and resilient. With all of us working together, we can urge our respective governments to strengthen DRR policies and programs; we can urge the private sector, civil society and all relevant stakeholders to be part of DRR activities; and we can help make people understand the relevance of making communities resilient,” said Legarda.
The Senator also said that the special meeting with UNSG Ban Ki-moon could actually lead to an annual meeting of DRR champions.
“An annual meeting of DRR champions would be a good venue to discuss developments and challenges on our advocacy work. We can help one another become more effective DRR champions in our respective regions. Raising awareness about DRR and CCA is not an easy task, but with us DRR advocates working together, I am optimistic we can make a big difference and we can even encourage more citizens to be DRR champions as well,” Legarda said.
DRR champions present in the special meeting include the former President of Finland, Ms. Tarja Halonen; President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union and Bangladesh Parliamentarian, Mr. Saber Hossain Chowdhury; former speaker of the East African Legislative Assembly Mr. Abdirahin Haithar Haji Abdi; Mauritanian Mayor Ms. Fatimetou Abdel Malick; Irish Member of the European Parliament, Mr. Gay Mitchell; and Ugandan Parliamentarian, Mr. Alex Bakunda Byarugaba.
Also in the meeting were Mrs. Ban Soon-taek, wife of UNSG Ban; Ms. Emiko Okuyama, Mayor of Sendai; and Ms. Kristalina Georgieva, European Commissioner for Budget and Human Resources.