Intervention by Commissioner Dimas at CSD-13 High Level Panel discussion - Impact of natural disasters
Summary: April 20, 2005: Intervention by Stavros Dimas, Commissioner for Environment European Commission at the 13th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development High Level Session (New York)
Impact of natural disasters on water, sanitation and human settlements, prevention and response
In order to address the challenge of natural disasters, it is necessary to fully integrate sustainable development into all policies of the European Commission. Sustainable development is the best preventive strategy against natural disasters.
However, since not all disasters - such as earthquakes - can be prevented, a reinforcement of specific disaster preparedness programmes is necessary. A strong signal in this respect came from the Kobe Conference on World Disaster Reduction held in Kobe, Japan in January 2005.
In light of the tsunami disaster and the Kobe conference, the European Commission aims to improve its response capacity in case of natural or man-made disasters. A main component of this plan will be to strengthen the Community Civil Protection Mechanism.
This means in particular:
1. The creation of a civil protection fund supporting, for instance, the transport of aid and staff;
2. Full implementation of an agreement with UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Aid in order to maximise the use of available resources and a coordinated response to disasters in third countries;
3. Development of a modular approach based on rapidly deployable national civil protection units (expert teams, equipment);
4. Reinforcement of early warning systems and of the analytical and planning capacity of the Commission's Civil Protection Monitoring and Information Centre;
5. Mandating the Commission to inform third countries of the possibility of requesting assistance where there is a need for civil protection assistance;
6. Ensuring close coordination with other players, such as NGOs and military counterparts.
In this way, the EU will provide an important contribution to the prevention of and response to natural disasters.
- Ref: SP05-104EN
- EU source: European Commission
- UN forum: Other
- Date: 20/4/2005
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