- May 15, 2019

Geneva, 12-17 May 2019

The sixth session of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (GP2019) took place in Geneva, Switzerland from 15 to 17 May 2019. Established as a biennial multi-stakeholder forum by the UN General Assembly, the Global Platform is a critical component of the monitoring and implementation process of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (2015-2030). 

The aim of the Global Platform is to review progress, share knowledge and discuss the latest developments and trends in reducing disaster risk. The outcomes of the Global Platform inform the deliberations of the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development and the UN 2019 Climate Summit from a disaster risk reduction perspective. 

The Stakeholder Group of Persons with Disabilities: Thematic Group on Disaster Risk Reduction actively engaged in advance of and during the GP2019, with the aim to bring a strong message that disaster risk reduction must be inclusive of persons with disabilities.

IDA was represented in the Global Platform by a delegation comprising the following regions:

  • Africa: Patrick Gift Egessa (International Federation of Hard of Hearing, Uganda)
  • Americas: Angelica Monteagudo (El Salvador), Otto Mazariegos (Guatemala) (both from Latin American Network of Organizations of Persons with Disabilities and their Families)
  • Asia: Neeta Keshary Bhattarai (International Federation of Hard of Hearing, Nepal)
  • Pacific: Setareki Macanawai, Simione Bula (Pacific Disability Forum, Fiji); Martine Abel Williamson (World Blind Union, New Zealand)

Summary of Conference Outcomes:

The Global Platform 2019 saw the highest number of participants with disabilities and their representative organizations in the conference to date. However, the Co-Chair’s Summary (the conference outcome document) reflected that implementation of the Framework for persons with disabilities requires greater consideration, specifically that:

  • Data disaggregated by disability, sex and age on persons is lacking to a large extent (paragraph 11) and
  • Commitments towards the engagement of persons with disabilities in the development of inclusive DRR strategies have not been transformed into action (paragraph 12).

While recommendations on moving the Framework’s implementation forward did not explicitly include persons with disabilities and their representative organizations, States were encouraged to target drivers of inequality and exclusion in their DRR policies, strategies and programmes, which should be informed by a rights-based approach.  

This outcome largely reflects the Stakeholder Group’s reflection on the aspirations of the Sendai Framework: commitments without action will not achieve disaster risk reduction strategies inclusive of persons with disabilities. The Stakeholder Group presented a joint statement in the plenary session of the final day of the conference, which can be found below.

The Summary also reflected a shift from the perception of persons with disabilities and others as "vulnerable" populations to "at-risk" groups--i.e. from recipients of aid and beneficiaries of charity, to actors for change. 

As a result of the Stakeholder Group’s advocacy, the NGO joint statement to the GP2019 also included persons with disabilities, highlighting the importance of:

  • Participation and role of persons with disabilities in local DRR action, and a recognition of the barriers faced;
  • DRR strategies inclusive of persons with disabilities, in order to leave no-one behind;
  • Data disaggregated by disability, gender and age.

More Information:


Sendai Global Platform meeting 2019

12 – 14 May: Preparatory Meetings

On Sunday 12 May, members of the group had an occasion to provide each other with an update of the work done, as well as to discuss actions to be taken during the Global Platform. 

On Monday morning, the group took part in the Opening Ceremony of the Stakeholders’ Forum, taking the chance to make a brief statement about the importance of inclusion of persons with disabilities in DRR and of inclusive policies. 

On Monday afternoon, the Stakeholder Group broke into regional groups and discussed issues, challenges and opportunities relating to DRR in their respective regions. Common points included:

  • There needs to be better articulation and involvement among governmental institutions. Governmental support is fundamental to achieve concrete goals, support for resources and capacity building. 
  • Disaster risk reduction is still not given the priority it needs
  • Better coordination and coordination mechanisms among organizations are necessary to achieve the set goals especially when seeking further engagement in disability inclusion from different stakeholders. 

A panel discussion comprising five speakers briefed the Stakeholder Group, followed by a Q&A:

  • Ms. Mirjam Gasser, Advocacy Advisor, CBM: reflection on disability stakeholder engagement in the 2017 Global Platform, lessons-learned for 2019 
  • Mr. Mohsin, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief (MoDMR): presentation on the International Conference on Disability and DRM and Dhaka Declaration 2015
  • Ms. Stefanie Dannenmann-Di Palma, External Relations Officer, UNDRR: inclusion of persons with disabilities in the monitoring of the Sendai Framework
  • Ms. Marcie Roth, CEO, Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies: information regarding the GP Stakeholder Engagement Mechanism and opportunities for the TGDRR
  • Mr. Facundo Chavez Penillas, Human Rights Officer, OHCHR: update on the UN Disability Inclusion strategy

Setareki Makanawi at Sendai Global Platform meeting in Geneva 2019

Day 1, Wednesday 15 May

The Stakeholder Group participated in the following meetings and events: 

  • High Level Dialogue on the Progress Made in Implementing Sendai Framework - Global and Regional Perspectives
  • Opening Ceremony of the Sendai Global Platform
  • Discussion on Safe, Smart and Inclusive Hospitals" in the context of Disability Inclusion in Hospital Disaster Risk Management
  • High Level Meeting on Advances in National and Local Disaster Risk Reduction Strategies - Towards Meeting the First of the Sendai Framework Targets
  • Special Session on Woman Leadership in DRR
  • Side Event on Localizing the Sendai Framework: a Global Approach for Resilient Cities
  • Working Session on the Sendai Framework Implementation

Day 2, Thursday 16 May

The Stakeholder Group participated in the following meetings:

  • High Level Dialogue on Risk Informed Public and Private investments
  • Side Event on Using Gender, Age and Disability-Responsive Data to Empower those Left Furthest Behind: How to Do it and Why it's Fundamental to Effective Disaster Risk Reduction
  • Side Event on Indigenous Disaster Risk Reduction
  • Evening Event on the follow-up of the Dhaka Declaration

Day 3, Friday 17 May

On Friday, the Stakeholder Group, represented by Ms. Angelica Monteagudo, President of Sendas Foundation and member of the the Latin American Network of Organizations of Persons with Disabilities and their Families (RIADIS), presented the Stakeholder Group formal statement in the plenary session.

In the afternoon, the Stakeholder Group met to discuss future working methods, regional and global representation, and future engagement in the Sendai Global and Regional Platforms.

For more information on the Stakeholder Group of Persons with Disabilities: Thematic Group on Disaster Risk Reduction, and how to join, please visit the dedicated webpage of the group.

 IDA members participating at Sendai Global Platform meeting in Geneva 2019

Additional information:

Sendai Global Platform meeting in Geneva 2019

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