• Lead-organizer: International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
  • 13:00 - 14:30
  • Date: 20 Jun 2012
  • Room: T-8

Local Action and Partnerships for more resilient people and communitie

Organizing partners

?Ï World Health Organisation,
?Ï United Nations Development Program,
?Ï The World Bank (tbc)
and International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (lead


Sustainable development defined by Bruntland¡¦s 1987 report ¡§Our Common Future¡¨ remains valid today: ¡§Development meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs¡¨. Local action, which strengthens resilience, is key to its achievement. It is also clear that no actor alone can achieve sustainable development; meaningful partenrships are required.

Objective of the side event is to highlight the importance of the following:

?Ï local actions in strengthening resilience of vulnerable communities as a key contribution for the fulfilment of the internationally agreed sustainable development agenda,

?Ï inclusive partnerships at all levels, across humanitarian and developmental actors, which support greater resilience toward effective sustainable development

Detailed programme

The challenges brought by globalisation, environmental degradation and overexploitation of natural resources, climate change, migration, poverty, economic and demographic stress, violence, diseases, conflicts, disasters etc are leading to the emergence of new patterns of vulnerability at local and regional levels and widening the gap between the ¡§Have¡¨ and ¡§Have-not¡¨. The world we live in today is more complex than ever before. How can we tackle these issues and their root causes while implementing sustainable development policies for the benefit of current and future generations?

The side event, as outlined above will have an overarching theme focusing on ¡§Strengthening the resiliece of vulnerable people and their communities¡¨.

¡§Resilience¡¨ is defined as: The ability of individuals, communities, organisations, or countries exposed to disasters and crises and underlying vulnerability to anticipate, reduce the impact of, cope with, and recover from the effects of adversity without compromising their long term prospects.

Panellists will be invited, to share their views on how local action and partnerships will contribute to greater resilience. We will explore the following thematic areas:

1. Health and resilience for all: essential for sustainable development
Three decades after the ground breaking Alma Ata declaration, we can testify to the public health efforts and achievements in many countries. However, health inequities across and within countries remain high and needs to be urgently addressed. Health is a fundamental right and essential for sustainable development for communities and every individual. To achieve resilience for all, we must reduce health inequities, in particular addressing the needs of the most vulnerable people, often living in the shadows of our societies. We must address the social determinants of health, and improve access to health information, commodities, tools and infrastructure. Health and resilience for all can be achieved both at the community level and with equitable and effective policies at the national level.

2. Sustainable development cannot occur without reducing risk and prioritising a socially inclusive society from community to national level
Strengthening resilience at the community level and preparing for disasters contribute to the safeguarding of life and livelihoods of the urban and rural poor who tend to be prone to disasters. Disaster risk reduction, which requires long-term thinking and programming through a cross-sectoral approach, contributes to mitigating the effects of disasters, protection of environment, and increasing adaptation mechanisms to climate change.

At the same time, a society, which meets first basic needs for food, shelter, education, work, income and safe living and working conditions, provides an enabling environment for the wellbeing of people and development of human potential for the whole population, including migrants, without discrimination and irrespective of legal status. An inclusive approach, which encourages communities¡¦ and individuals¡¦ participation and involvement in the decision-making process, brings together all parts of society to foster mutual understanding and respect for human dignity. It is important to increase the participation of all in the development process through different initiatives, including engaging in voluntary services and social relationships.

The dicussion is expected to contribute to the implementation of the Rio +20 outcome paper in the above mentioned areas.

• Mr Bekele Geleta, Secretary General, IFRC
• Dr Margaret Chan, Director General, WHO
• UNDP (a high-level speaker ¡V name and title to be confirmed)
• The World Bank ((a high-level speaker ¡V name and title to be confirmed)
• Mrs Emma Kundishora, Secretary General, Zimbabwe Red Cross (tbc)

Participants in the side event, after interventions of the panellists, will be invited to discuss the following:

1. How does the approach of strengthening resilient and safer communities contribute to the sustainable development agenda? (Provide clear examples linked to DRR, Health, food security, climate change, non violence, migration and human mobility.)

2. The importance of linking and integrating different sectors and entry points (local to national and vice versa) for resilience for national sustainable development.

3. Key challenges to implement a resilience approach? Opportunities? Value of working together (humanitarian, environmental/developmental, and civil society actors)?
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