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Posted On: 17 May 2019 12:01 pm
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:20 pm

Sustainable development and disaster risk reduction important for Qatar

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His Excellency (H.E.) Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Sultan bin Saad Al Muraikhi stressed Thursday that Qatar attaches special importance to the issues of sustainable development as one of the pillars of its National Vision 2030, adding that it considers preparing and responding to natural and man-made hazards and disasters as one of the most important means of preserving national development efforts.

In his address to the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction, which is being hosted in Geneva from 13 -17 May, His Excellency said that Qatar supports the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, which the Ministry of Foreign Affairs participated in launching it in Japan in 2015 with seven commonly recognised objectives.

H.E. Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, who heads the delegation of Qatar participating in the Forum and the first ministerial roundtable, underlined that the Qatar has enacted the necessary legislation and laws, both at legislative and institutional level to adopt the framework. At the national level, Qatar has established the Permanent Emergency Committee, and at the regional and global level, the Standing Committee for Rescue, Relief and Humanitarian Assistance has been established in the affected areas of friendly countries.

His Excellency added that Qatar has also enacted laws on humanitarian and non-governmental organizations and donor institutions that direct support and relief to all affected countries due to natural or man-made disasters, and has also invested in qualified personnel to work in the areas of rescue, development and relief.

His Excellency pointed out that Qatar hosted the 3rd Arab Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction under the title 'Implementation of Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction in the Arab Region', in coordination with the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) and the League of Arab States, noting that the conference discussed the regional dimension in the Arab countries' response to disasters especially since the Arab region has faced many disasters in recent years.

His Excellency pointed out that the conference resulted in the Doha Declaration, which stressed the importance of defining responsibilities and roles and developing working mechanisms at all levels for the purpose of achieving governance and transparency. His Excellency also stressed the importance of the availability of a database and updated information on risks and losses of disasters and the development of regional and national indicators, in order to support risk reduction efforts, in line with the requirements of the implementation of the Sendai Framework and the realization of the 2030 Sustainable Development Plan.

His Excellency added that the Doha Declaration called for a preventive response to disasters including: strengthening infrastructure, combatting poverty, empowering communities, benefiting from the role of youth and women centres, and investing scientific research. Pointing to Qatar's attention to science and technology, and its support for coordination among the Arab parties concerned with disasters, to contribute to the output of decisions based on scientific grounds.

His Excellency added that Qatar organised a workshop on April 24 on responding to natural and man-made disasters, the role and challenges of relief and development work. The workshop's participants presented a number of challenges facing relief work and the difficulty of immediate response to disasters, due to the absence of proactive plans and coordination between the intervening parties. His Excellency pointed out that the workshop called for the need to coordinate and unify the reference in the event of disasters, to reach the maximum positive results in terms of rescue and reduce the impact of disasters, with the participation of international actors in this area.

His Excellency stressed the keenness of Qatar to participate actively in all relevant conferences such as the 2017 Global Platform, the Arab-African Regional Forum held in Tunis in October 2018 and other regional and international events such as the regional conferences in Mongolia 2018 and India 2016 and others.

H.E. the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs said that the participation of Qatar in the conference with a high-ranking delegation of policymakers stems from its interest in the UN Agenda for Disaster Risk Reduction.

He pointed to the uneven potential of countries and their ability to deal with the disaster challenges they face. His Excellency added that strengthening partnerships within the framework of international cooperation should be one of the foundations of the sustainable development agenda 2030, especially in terms of exchanging expertise and transfer of technology.

Sufficient to enhance their efforts in disaster risk reduction, noting that this is in line with the 17 goals of sustainable development, which His Excellency said requires calls for strengthening the means of implementation and revitalising the global partnership for sustainable development.

His Excellency stressed in the conclusion of his speech that Qatar supports reaching an international consensus for enhancing the ability to respond to crises and threats facing the world, to serve humanity and achieve prosperity for all people.

H.E. the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs said at the round table discussions that the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction was an important contribution showing the relationship between the sustainable development goals and climate change. His Excellency noted that the framework was adopted by national governments, and helps alleviate the financial burden on governments by protecting developmental achievements that could be threatened by natural disasters.

His Excellency stressed that Qatar assigns a high priority to the threat of disasters, reflected in the Doha Declaration announced following the 3rd Arab Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction. The declaration included a host of policies that contribute to the realisation of sustainable development goals and limiting natural disaster and climate change risks. Some of those policies includes enhancing local capabilities in dealing with natural disasters, building partnerships that limit those risks, establishing social security networks, insurance programmes, and financing Small and Medium Enterprises, achieving food and water security, and developing a system for early warning at a national and regional levels as part of responding to potential disasters.

H.E. the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs concluded by saying that Qatar supports any efforts that can ensure the success of those meetings and achieve developments and prosperity for humanity.