Fourth World Reconstruction Conference pledges to 'leave no-one behind'

May 23, 2019

GENEVA - More than 1000 participants attended the Fourth World Reconstruction Conference (WRC4), applying the pledge made by 193 countries in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to 'leave no one behind' and 'endeavour to reach the furthest behind' for resilient post-disaster recovery.

Jointly organized by the World Bank’s Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the European Commission (EC), and hosted by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), the WRC4 was held May 13 - 14 in Geneva, coinciding with the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction.

Disasters triggered by natural hazards, including climate-related events, undermine development gains and contribute to increased vulnerability and exclusion. They add up to average annual welfare losses of over US$500 billion and push up to 26 million people into poverty each year.

With the theme of 'nclusion for disaster recovery' the WRC4 was an opportunity to gather practitioners and policy-makers from across the globe to share the latest best practices and account for progress on the pledges made through the 2030 Agenda and, particularly, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.

“Together, we can ensure we Leave No One Behind. Together, we can make recovery more resilient, and foster risk-informed and inclusive development,” said Asako Okai, UN Assistant Secretary General and Director of UNDP’s Crisis Bureau.

Sameh Wahba, Director of Urban and Territorial Development and Disaster Risk Management at the World Bank, emphasized the World Bank’s 2018 Building Back Better report, stressing that, “We have to build back better – meaning that the repaired or replaced assets are more resilient, but also that the recovery process is shorter and more efficient, that culture is at the heart of the reconstruction and recovery process, and that the entire recovery process does not leave anyone behind.  Everyone, including the poorest and most vulnerable, must receive the support they need to fully recover.”

The discussions at the conference resulted in the issuance of a joint communique affirming a strong commitment to ensure that recovery processes are inclusive.

Léonard-Emile Ognimba, Ambassador, Assistant Secretary General – Political Affairs and Human Development of the ACP-EU Secretariat, helped conclude the conference by noting, “Being inclusive in recovery is not an option if we are truly committed to ‘leave no one behind’ and build more inclusive societies with equal opportunities for all.”

Joint Communique on WRC4

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