October 2nd 2014 Geneva Switzerland
United Nation Major Group for Children & Youth
Third Open-ended Informal Consultation with Major Groups;
Priorities for Action of the Pre Zero Draft of the Post 2015 DRR Framework
Thank you for this opportunity to speak as the Major Group for Children & Youth on behalf of children, youth and future generations who will inherit this new Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction, and as the beneficiaries and implementers of the priorities and policies created. We seek a dynamic and robust framework that is ready to tackle challenges well into the future, based upon ambitious goals and commitments we set today.
As young people, we are faced with several critical challenges that hinder our active participation in building for a better future for everyone. One challenge that stands out is the reality of the uncertainty around the practical implementation of the HFA, as legislation of the commitments made by States remains weak; there remains no clear timelines for the implementation of priorities; and lack of emphasis on the responsibilities of individuals and groups, especially children and youth regarding their role in building resilience.
We wish for stronger commitment and action from States through children and youth centered policies on disaster risk reduction, guided by child and youth specific indicators in regional, national and local-level frameworks, as well as, reviews of the international reporting of these frameworks. Only in this way, can we assure nations adequately assess the needs of the children and youth and address their priorities for disaster risk reduction.
Another great challenge expressed by the children and youth of this world was how our current involvement is often limited to being passive beneficiaries rather than active contributors, and how changing that is one of our strongest desires. Sendai is only our very first step in a lifelong journey for us. We hold great hope and determination in convincing you that we are not just advisors, but rather partners in disaster risk reduction.
Another challenge young people face, is having to encourage you and other stakeholders that we should not just be limited to only expressing our thoughts and views, but rather that we should be included in the implementation after Sendai and beyond.
However, we are gathered here today as a global community, not only to address the immense challenges posed by disasters that we mutually share, but also to express our visionary objectives for the Post-2015 Development Agenda. Our vision, as the Major Group for Children & Youth, is to ensure the remarkable capacities of children and youth are utilized fully in building local capacity and a society of resilience, and to ensure the needs of children and other vulnerable groups, including those with disability, are met.
We are not waiting for tomorrow. Children and youth are already taking action on disasters. We are mobilizing in new and creative ways involving social media and technology to support resilience efforts, create awareness and develop action plans on disaster risk reduction.
This underscores the importance of science and technology in disaster risk reduction which can help assure measures proposed are the best possible and actions taken are the most efficient options.
We would now like to elaborate on some of the main points we mentioned last week, and highlight some additional points for inclusion in the Pre-Zero Draft.
Firstly, is the importance of building capacity in society and promoting behavioral change. We must increase the emphasis on integrating disaster risk reduction and climate change education in school curricula and informal education along with a focus on public education and awareness on risk reduction measures. This must be done through both innovative and traditional methods addressing both remote and rural communities. We must also seek opportunities to engage youth volunteers in disaster preparedness and wider measures to mitigate the risks that are inclusive of children and youth from the very beginning.
A fundamental part of building social capacity is promoting routine disaster preparedness exercises. It is crucial that this includes both emergency service and health practitioners and especially young people amongst them. This should also be implemented in promoting Safer Schools and Hospitals, making sure the proper capacities for risk assessment exist for the smooth informed delivery of basic social services, with an emphasis on health, water, education and protection.
We would also like to raise the importance of ensuring adequate financing which support children and youth, including in national budgets. As tomorrow’s innovators and today’s entrepreneurs, children and youth are the drivers behind more cost-effective preparedness initiatives and ensure the maximum utility of funds. We would also like to recognize the role of business and industry as important partners in disaster risk reduction efforts; which can bring economic and social gains for the whole of society.
Children and youth are here, ready and willing to continue to take our responsibilities of reducing the risk we face to disasters. We want our voices to be heard and we want to be seen as cross-cutting stakeholders in reducing our collective risk. To this end, we children and youth, would like to express our commitments to be proactive in building resilient societies. We seek to promote and obtain your support in adopting a Children & Youth Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction. As partners of change and Future Generations, this will be our legacy for the Post-2015 Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction.
PDF is available here-