• Lead-organizer: Organization of Islamic Cooperation
  • 11:30 - 13:00
  • Date: 19 Jun 2012
  • Room: T-3

Building Resilience for Sustainable Development in the OIC Member Coun

Organizing partners

- The Statistical, Economic, Social Research and Training Centre for Islamic Countries (SESRIC),
- Islamic Development Bank (IDB)


Full title of the side event:

This side event will focus on one of the seven critical topics on the agenda of the Rio Conference- Disasters- with the aim of generating higher level of awareness among policy makers and experts in the OIC member countries with regard to the need for a comprehensive disaster risk management strategy as an integral part of their overall national development strategy. The majority of the population in the 57 member countries is extensively prone to natural disasters due to extensive exposure to natural hazards and other vulnerabilities. This session will bring together the representatives of governments, international organizations, and civil societies with the aim of mobilizing actions on the part of OIC member countries, and initiating the necessary exchange of knowledge and best practices to improve upon existing national capacities for building resilience to natural disasters.

Detailed programme

The frequency and range of disasters and related losses are expanding with grave consequences for sustainable development, especially in most needed countries. There are increasingly coordinated efforts to reduce disaster risks through bilateral, regional and international cooperation and partnerships. However, a staggering world economy, widespread concerns over food and energy insecurity, global climate change, and many other factors seriously challenge progress towards sustaining prosperity in many developing countries. Despite significant progress in many countries in lowering risks and improving disaster preparedness and response capacities, the expanding and accelerating exposure of people and assets to natural disasters in countries that lack appropriate capacities for reducing and managing such risks is alarming.
The OIC member countries are extensively exposed to natural and human-made hazards and many characteristics of the member countries make them particularly vulnerable. As a result, some member countries are among the most disaster prone areas of the world and have been suffering from significant human casualties and economic losses during the past half-a-century. Continuation of this trend should be a major area of concern for the governments, as well as OIC and its development cooperation institutions, as disasters could retard the development process by taking away a significant proportion of resources accumulated from development investments over many years, leaving the member countries even more vulnerable to future hazards.
The insufficient capacities for effective risk management as well as the vulnerability to different classes of risk among many OIC countries remain, therefore, a critical issue. In this regard and in order to amplify the existing efforts on the part of member countries, a comprehensive disaster risk management strategy for OIC member countries is required to guide all member countries, especially those with low capacities for risk reduction and management, toward reducing vulnerabilities to and increasing preparedness for disasters and thereby minimizing mortality and economic losses and ultimately making years of developmental efforts and investments sustainable. In this framework, IDB and SESRIC started an initiative for developing a comprehensive strategy for disaster risk management for OIC countries. The strategy is expected to contribute to the ongoing efforts for substantial reduction of disaster losses in lives and assets of the communities and countries across the OIC region, essentially through devising cooperation and coordination mechanisms among the member countries. Raising the awareness of the need for the integration of disaster risk reduction strategies into national development agendas and thereby tackling the developmental challenges in reducing poverty in the member countries is another expected contribution.
Given this state of affairs, there is a need for bringing together a wide spectrum of experts and stakeholders from national governments, relevant international organizations, and civil societies to discuss the main issues and challenges related to disaster risk management in the 57 OIC member countries. The UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) in Rio will provide a distinct opportunity for an open dialogue with all stakeholders and experts in addressing the challenges and issues related to disaster risk management in these countries. The outcome will also substantially assist the IDB and SESRIC in preparing the comprehensive strategy for disaster risk management for OIC countries in a relevant manner.
In this context, the SESRIC and IDB engagement in the Rio Conference is expected to mobilize actions on the part of OIC member countries in support of disaster risk management programs and sustainable development. Interaction with other members of the international community would also produce the necessary sharing of appropriate knowledge and best practices with a view to improving national actions and policies on building resilience to natural disasters and devising sound strategies.
In the domain of multilateral engagement, the side event would provide the opportunity to intensify the efforts to consolidate partnership with the various international, governmental, and non-governmental organizations as well as the private sector organizations, development agencies, financial institutions, and community based groups to ensure inclusive participation in the discussions.
Thus, the event will contribute to devising an effective and comprehensive disaster management strategy for 57 OIC member countries, which in turn significantly contributes in achieving the goal of the UNCSD in providing an excellent occasion for deliberations and reaching successful outcome of the Conference.
In addition to the highest level representation from the two organizing institutions, the following four speakers are invited to make speech/presentation in the side event:
? Ms. M. Wahlström, Special Representative of the SG for Disaster Risk Reduction at United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction
? Mr. Prashant, Acting Director of Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery at World Bank
? A minister from a disaster-prone member country (to be decided)
? Mr. T. Konoe, President of The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
Additionally, high level representatives from related international organizations (UNDP, UN-HABITAT, UN-OCHA, FAO and IFPRI) and disaster-prone member countries will be invited to contribute during the side event.
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