India: Modi vows to implement global disaster plan

New Delhi, Delhi, IndiaUpdated: Nov 03, 2016, 12:33 PM IST

The region is particularly vulnerable to disasters, partly due to a rapidly growing population and a large number of urban poor who tend to live in hazard-prone areas such as slums and riverbanks. Photograph:(AFP)

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi today vowed to implement Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction in Asian region, news agency Reuters reported.

"We have to wholeheartedly embrace the spirit of Sendai, which calls for an all-of-society approach to disaster risk management. In India, we are committed to walk the talk on the implementation of Sendai Framework," Modi said in his inaugural address at the Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in New Delhi.

The Sendai Framework is a 15-year global plan to combat disasters. It was adopted at the Third UN World Conference in Sendai, Japan, on March 18, 2015.

The Asian Ministerial Conference will work on formulating a plan to put the Sendai framework into motion.

"The expected outcomes of the conference are an Asian regional plan for implementation of the Sendai framework. Second, a political declaration that reiterates the commitments of the governments to disaster risk reduction and also fundamentally important- stakeholder actions, statements containing various initiatives to reduce disaster risk," said United Nations secretary general's special representative for Disaster Risk Reduction, Robert Glasser, Reuters reported.

According to the United Nations, Asia-Pacific is the world's most disaster-prone region. It accounted for over half of the world's 344 disasters last year, with more than 16,000 deaths and 59 million people affected in the region alone, according to the UN.

Prime Minister Modi warned of daunting challenges due to the rapid rise of urbanisation in the region.

"Urbanisation will pose greater challenges for disaster risk management, by concentrating people, property and economic activity in smaller areas, many of them in disaster-prone locations. If we do not manage this growth, in terms of both planning and execution, the risk of economic and human losses from disasters will be higher than ever before," said Modi.

(WION with inputs from Reuters)