On 3 June, the Director-General delivered an address to the Third World Landslide Forum, held in Beijing, on 2-6 June, 2014.
This Forum is organized by the International Consortium on Landslides (ICL) and the China Geological Survey, that UNESCO sponsors. More than 400 experts, scholars and officials from 50 countries across the world attended the Forum.
“We may not be able to stop disasters, but we can reduce their risk and lessen their impact,” said the Director-General.
“we must act at several levels – to develop community-based early warning systems, to integrate disaster risk reduction into development plans and intervention strategies, and to promote education and training.”
The opening took place in the presence of the Chinese Deputy Minister of Land and Resources and President of the China Geological Survey, Wang Min, the President of the International Consortium on Landslides, Paolo Canuti, the Head of the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, Feng Min Kan, the Director at the World Meteorological Organization, Bruce Stewart, and the President of the International Council for Science, Yuan Tseh Lee.
“Disasters go to the heart of the meaning of ‘sustainable development,’ bringing together its three pillars, the social, the economic and the environmental,” said the Director-General.
“To reduce risks, we must build resilience in infrastructure, schools, hospitals, roads, water systems and Governments. But these are not enough -- resilience must be developed in every girl and boy and every adult.”
Irina Bokova placed all this work in the context of the UN Decade for Education for Sustainable Development and the Hyogo Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience, and for shaping the post 2015 global development agenda.
In this respect, she noted the importance of the forthcoming Third World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction that will be held in Sendai, Japan in March 2015.
Across all these levels, the Director-General underlined the leading role that UNESCO will continue to play in moving forward.