The meeting took place in the United Nations Headquarters from May 17th to 19th, under the theme of Working Together to Reduce Risk for a Resilient Future. The Minister was accompanied by Ms. Aisha Rachel, a representative of Disaster Risk Management Division (DRMD), the head of Planning and Preparedness Unit.
The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 was adopted in the third UN world conference in Sendai, Miyagi, Japan March 18, 2015, following the Hyogo Framework for Action of 2005-2015 highlighted as “Building Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disaster”.
During his first day the Minister met with Ms. Mami Mizutori, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction. During their meeting Ms. Mizutori reassured United Nations Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR)s commitment in supporting Seychelles. Minister Fonseka emphasized on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and how “there is a need to foster the culture of resilience amongst our nation”. The meeting was an opportunity for Ms. Mizutori to engage with all member states prior to the high level meeting which took place on the 18th & 19th of May.
Minister Fonseka co-chaired a round table with H.E. Mr. Raed Arafat State Secretary in the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Romania. The discussion focused on governing disaster risk in fragile ecosystems.
During the High Level Meeting the Minister delivered his address, expressing gratitude for the support pledged by UNDRR in facilitating the collection of disaster loss related data which will update information related to Seychelles on the Desinventar platform. This will help in making evidence-based decisions towards resilience and preparedness implementation programs.
Minister Fonseka stated that, “in responding to disasters, which usually come without warning, flexibility and adaptability should be principles that feature in the allocation of financial assistance. The potential for major disasters within the Indian Ocean is very worrying due to the level of the increase of the world’s commercial maritime traffic and the rising level of organized crime within the western Indian Ocean”. He continued by stating, “security and safety, which are non-traditional security issues are clear and present threats that impends our existence. Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU), climate change, drugs & human trafficking all add to the negative impact on our environment and our coastal livelihood”.
The Minister expressed that the meeting further cements the governments’ commitment in advancing disaster management in Seychelles through active collaborations with foreign partners. He also commented on the shared experiences and knowledge gathered during the round table discussions.
The Midterm Review of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015- 2030 is an opportunity for countries member states to identify and implement renovations, innovations and course corrections to policy, practice, investment and cooperation to prevent, mitigate and reduce existing and emerging risk before 2030. The High-Level Meeting aims to raise awareness and mutual understanding of integrated risk reduction in decision-making, investment, behavior and best practices to address gaps and obstacles of commitments and plans to implementation in alignment with the Sendai Framework.