Tuesday, July 3, 2012

UNISDR appoints parliamentary champions for risk reduction

Dizery Salim at the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction:  The United Nations office for disaster risk reduction, UNISDR, today officially welcomed five members of parliament from Bangladesh, Uganda, Cambodia, Senegal and the East African Legislative Assembly as parliamentary champions committed to promoting legislation for disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation.

This month they officially began two-year terms as members of the first Advisory Group of Parliamentarians for Disaster Risk Reduction, solidifying a multi-year initiative by UNISDR to make progress in the realm of national legislation and risk reduction.

The champions are Saber Chowdhury, Chair of Bangladesh’s All-Party Parliamentary Group on Climate Change and Environment; Alex Bakunda Byarugaba, Chairman of Uganda’s Foreign Affairs Committee of Parliament; Saumura Tioulong, member of Parliament representing Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and former Deputy Governor of Cambodia's Central Bank from 1993-1995; Abdou Sane, member of the National Assembly of Senegal and President of the parliament’s Network for Disaster Risk Reduction; and Abdirahin Abdi, former speaker of the East African Legislative Assembly from June 2007 to June 2012.

“Parliamentarians play a particular role. They can put pressure on the executive to think about prevention. They can hold governments accountable,” said Feng Min Kan, Special Adviser to the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Disaster Risk Reduction, Margareta Wahlström, who has nurtured the UNISDR parliamentary initiative since 2008.

“Our role is in developing our capacities,” said Mr. Chowdhury, Chair of the Advisory Group. “What can we do in our own constituencies? How we can get communities involved? We may have grand national plans, but it is at the local level that action is taken.”...

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