- October 14, 2013

Member Organizations:
Arab Organization of Persons with Disabilities, Disabled People’s International,
Down Syndrome International, European Disability Forum,
Inclusion International, International Federation of Hard of Hearing People,
Latin American Network of Non-Governmental Organizations of Persons with Disabilities
and their Families, Pacific Disability Forum, World Blind Union,
World Federation of the Deaf, World Federation of the DeafBlind,
World Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry

IDA Press Release

International Day for Disaster Reduction

A Disability-Inclusive Post-2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction

Geneva/New York, 13 October 2013 – The International Disability Alliance (IDA) welcomes the International Day for Disaster Reduction, and appeals to the international community to address the exclusion faced by persons with disabilities in disaster risk reduction efforts and ensure that all actions in this regard are consistent with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD).

Despite significant progress over the past few years, persons with disabilities remain marginalized and excluded from disaster risk reduction (DRR) plans and policies. In humanitarian disaster situations, this exclusion translates to a lack of access to basic services such as food, water and medical services, as well as to crucial information regarding safety and security.

IDA welcomes the thematic focus of persons with disabilities on this year’s International Day for Disaster Reduction, which will contribute to the ongoing process of building an inclusive post-2015 development framework. Greater awareness and visibility of the unique challenges faced by persons with disabilities in disaster situations will ensure that DRR policies, within the future development framework, are inclusive of all. Only in this way can they have a real chance at being effective.

“The post-2015 development framework will play a key role in addressing the discrimination and exclusion faced by persons with disabilities in disaster situations,” said Mr. Yannis Vardakastanis, chair of IDA. “The discussions that will define future DRR policies must be inclusive—persons with disabilities must contribute their knowledge and experience at all stages of the process to identify possible solutions in disaster situations.”

In advance of the International Day for Disaster Reduction, the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), the Permanent Missions of Indonesia and Norway to the UN and the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) organized a panel event on October 10, 2013 in New York entitled, “Disaster Resilience and Disability: Ensuring Equality and Inclusion.” The event was tied to a UNISDR survey carried out in collaboration with persons with disabilities, in order to better identify issues and priorities to be included in DRR policies in the post-2015 framework. The survey will be active until the end of 2013.

The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) is facilitating the framework for the inclusion of DRR to update the Hyogo Framework for Action, the goals of which should be included in the post-2015 development framework. To this end, UNISDR is conducting consultations, to culminate in a World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in March 2015. The expected new instrument emerging from this will be presented to the United Nations for endorsement at the 70th General Assembly in 2015.

The International Disability Alliance is an alliance of eight global and four regional organisations of persons with disabilities. It is a membership-based organisation of persons with disabilities representing a unique and authoritative voice of the world’s largest and mostly overlooked minority group.

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