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Amid Spike in Extreme Weather Events, Secretary-General's Observance Message Calls for Stronger Disaster Risk Governance to Build Safer, More Resilient World

Following is the text of UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ video message on the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction, observed on 13 October:

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought renewed attention to the importance of strengthening disaster risk reduction.  Many countries are facing multiple crises simultaneously.  We will see more of this.

Extreme weather events have risen dramatically over the past two decades.  Yet, we have seen little progress on reducing climate disruption and environmental degradation.  Bad situations only get worse without good disaster risk governance.

Disaster risk isn’t the sole responsibility of local and national authorities.  COVID-19 has shown us that systemic risk requires international cooperation.  Good disaster risk governance means acting on science and evidence.  And that requires political commitment at the highest level to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.

To eradicate poverty and reduce the impacts of climate change, we must place the public good above all other considerations.  For these reasons and more, this year’s International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction is all about strengthening disaster risk governance to build a safer and more resilient world.

For information media. Not an official record.