In December 1999, UN General Assembly vide Resolution 54/219 created the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), as a successor of the secretariat of the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction, in 2001. Assembly resolution 56/195 mandated the secretariat to serve as the focal point in the United Nations System for the coordination of disaster reduction and to ensure synergies among the disaster reduction activities of the United Nations Systems and regional organizations and activities in socio-economic and humanitarian field.
The Government of India had contributed US$ 1 million in November, 2016 in the sideline of 7th Asian Ministerial Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction and signed a Statement of Cooperation to promote regional capacity buildings for the Asia Pacific Region in the field of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR).
UNISDR has established following mechanism/ vehicles to achieve its objectives:
The United Nations office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) is formed in December 1991 by the General Assembly resolution 46/182. The resolution was designed to strengthen the response of United Nations Organizations to complex emergencies and natural disasters by creating the Department of Humanitarian Affairs and replacing the office of the United Nations Disaster Relief Coordinator, which has been formed in 1972. UNOCHA has established following mechanism/ vehicles to achieve its objectives:
The Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) is a global partnership program administered by the World Bank Group. GFDRR supports developing countries to: (i) mainstream disaster risk management and climate change adaptation in development strategies and investment programs, and (ii) improve the quality and timeliness of resilient recovery and reconstruction following a disaster. GFDRR was launched on September 29, 2006 to support implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015 (HFA). On March 18, 2015, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 (Sendai Framework) was adopted. GFDRR now supports the implementation of this framework.The Consultative Group (CG) is GFDRR’s primary decision-making and advisory body. Consisting of Members and Observers, the CG sets GFDRR’s long-term strategic objectives and oversees expected results. The Consultative Group has a Chair, who is a representative of the World Bank Group, and a Co-chair, who is a Member of the CG.
India became a member in 2013 by paying one time membership fee of US$ 500000. The membership fee was paid in three installments during 2013-2015.
The 13th SAARC Summit at Dhaka in November 2005 considered the issues of regional cooperation for preparedness and mitigation of national disasters and approved the offer of India to set up a SAARC Disaster Management Centre (SDMC) in New Delhi. The Centre was inaugurated on 10th October 2006 at the premises of National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM) in New Delhi.
At the 37th Meeting of SAARC Council of Ministers (CoM) held in Pokhara, Nepal on 17th March, 2016, SAARC decided to merge the four regional institutions namely SAARC Disaster Management Centre (SDMC New Delhi, India), SAARC Forestry Centre (SFC Thimpu, Bhutan), SAARC Coastal Zone Management Centre (SCZMC Male, Maldives) and SAARC Metrological Centre (SMC Dhaka, Bangladesh), which have been closed w.e.f. 31.12.2015, paving the way for the establishment of a new SAARC Disaster Management Centre (SDMC) to be located in India.
Accordingly, an Interim Unit of SDMC was set up in the NIDM Campus in New Delhi in June, 2016 and later in November, 2016, the premises of Interim Unit of SDMC was shifted from NIDM, New Delhi to Gujarat Institute of Disaster Management campus at Gandhinagar, Gujarat. The centre is dedicated to work according to the approved blue print of SDMC-IU.
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A resolution was adopted at the United Nations General Assembly in 1997 to reduce damage from natural disasters substantially by designating the 1990s as the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction. Following a series of national conferences held during the period of 1994-1997 to discuss the cooperation for disaster reduction, a ministerial level conference was held in Kobe, Japan in 1995 in which 28 countries from Asia and other regions participated. It adopted the Kobe declaration which includes an agreement to consider the creation of a system, which has the functions of a disaster reduction centre for the Asia region. The Asia Disaster Reduction Centre (ADRC) was thus established in Kobe in 1998 following an agreement from the participating countries with the Japanese government.
The mission of ADRC is to enhance disaster resilience of the member countries, to build safe communities and to create a society where sustainable development is possible. The centre works to build disaster resilient communities and to establish networks among countries through many programmes including personnel exchange in this field. Currently, there are 29 member countries of ADRC. Each member country has to bear the annual contribution calculated on the basis of GDP
India is one of the founder members of ADRC. Presently, India contributes about US$28,100 annually to ADRC as membership fee.
Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC) is established in 1986 at Bangkok, Thailand. It is a non-profit, non-political, autonomous, regional organization serving as a regional centre in Asia-Pacific for promoting disaster preparedness, disaster mitigation, awareness generation, exchange of information, community participation etc.
India is a member of the Board of Trustees (BoT), since August 2000. Union Home Secretary is one of the Members of the BoT of ADPC. In 2004, the ADPC became an international body (inter governmental organization). Officials of the Ministry of Home Affairs have been attending the meetings of the Regional Consultative Committee (RCC) of the ADPC and meetings of the Board of Trustees.
The ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) was established in 1994. The ARF membership including India, which joined in 1996, is 25 countries. The first ARF meeting in 1994 brought together Foreign Ministers from Australia, Brunei, Canada, China, European Union (Presidency), Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, New Zealand, PNG, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Russia, Singapore, Thailand, USA and Vietnam. Based on its Terms of Reference, the ARF Unit’s role and functions are as follows:
The ARF is the Principle Forum for Security Dialogue in Asia and complements the various bilateral alliances and dialogues, which underpin the region’s security architecture. The ARF is premised on the idea drawn from the ASEAN experience that a process of dialogue can produce qualitative improvements in political relationships. It provides a platform for members to discuss current regional security issues and develop cooperative measures to enhance peace and security in the region.
As all ASEAN members are automatically ARF members, India is actively participating in the ARF meetings and disaster relief exercises.