22 November 2016: The Southern African Development Community (SADC) in collaboration with the African Union Commission (AUC), the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) and the Government of Mauritius convened the 6th Session of the Africa Regional Platform (AfRP) on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) in Mauritius, from 22-24 November 2016.
During his keynote address, Honourable Alain Wong Yen Cheong, Minister of Civil Service, Administrative Reforms, Environment and Sustainable Development, and Disaster and Beach Management of Mauritius; emphasized that there is now global and regional momentum to build resilience, given that the number and frequency of natural disasters was on the rise. He further stated that Africa should be ready to overcome disaster adversity as the continent
could no longer afford a reversal of its hard-earned development gains. “we can no longer advocate that Business-As-Usual will provide effective and efficient solutions to sensibly manage the interlocking issues associated with natural disasters.”, he emphasized.
The purpose of the 2016 Africa Regional Platform is to finalize the Africa Programme of Action (PoA) to facilitate the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. The Platform also aims at preparing for the High Level Meeting of African Ministers responsible for DRR to be held on 25th November 2016 in Mauritius with a view of adopting the Africa Union Commission (AUC) Draft Declaration on DRR. The Declaration will be tabled for further consideration by the African Union Summit in readiness for the global DRR platform to be held in Mexico in the year 2017.
Dr. Robert Glasser, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General (SRSG) for DRR and Ms. Olushola Olayide, Representing the AU Commission also made keynote addresses during the opening session. The Executive Secretary of SADC, was represented by Mr. Jorge C. Cardoso, the Director of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Affairs.