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EU-JICA-UNHCR Open Seminar “Development Assistance toward a Safe and Secure Future - Building Resilient Societies against Natural Disasters”

EU News 459/2013

5 November 2013

As the 2015 expiry date of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the internationally agreed development goals, draws closer, the international society is reviewing the MDGs progress and intensifying its discussion on the new targets beyond 2015 (Post-2015 Development Goals).

The world is changing rapidly. Recent years have witnessed the phenomenal rise of threats such as economic crisis, natural disasters, and epidemics. In particular, the world’s exposure to natural disasters, coupled with climate change and rapid urbanization, has been increasing. It is estimated that by 2050 the population exposed to major disasters such as storms, draughts and earthquakes will be doubled to reach 1.5 billion. It is alarming that most of the victims are the poor and vulnerable such as women, children, the elderly and those affected by conflicts, and that disasters exacerbate social and economic inequalities, which would possibly trigger social unrest and further conflicts.

Natural disasters pose a major threat that can jeopardize the fruit of the international society’s efforts toward sustainable development in a moment. Addressing the issue is of critical importance for realizing human security. In March 2015, Japan will host the third United Nations World Conference on DRR (Disaster Risk Reduction) in Sendai, and will collaborate with the UN in order to facilitate the process to agree on a framework beyond the Hyogo Framework for Action (2005-2015) (The Post-HFA). Having gone through the experiences in the Great Hanshin Earthquake and the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, Japan, in collaboration with other governments and development partners, has been making efforts to build societies that are resilient against natural disasters.

On 11 November, 2013, The EU, UNHCR and JICA will host an open seminar to discuss how the international development society can join forces to mainstream DRR and build resilient societies. The EU Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, Mrs. Kristalina Georgieva, who is leading the EU efforts on disaster risk management and humanitarian assistance, and has been engaged in the relief from the Great East Japan Earthquake ever since her visit to Japan in March 2011, and other major partners from UNHCR, Europe, African and Asian countries will share their experiences in the field and how to accelerate the efforts to build resilient societies beyond 2015. Results of the seminar are expected to provide valuable inputs into the discussion on the Post-2015 Development Goals and the Post-HFA.

Time and Date: Monday, 11 November, 15:00 - 17:00 (registration starts at 14:15)
Place: United Nations University, U Thant International Conference Hall
Language: English – Japanese (simultaneous interpretation)
On-line registration at

Photo Updated 2013.11.12

2013.11.11 Seminar Photo by V.J.Luna, EU, 2013 URL