Five CCOUC members participated in the 2017 Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (GPDRR), jointly convened by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) and the Government of Mexico from 22 to 26 May 2017. Held every two years, the GPDRR provides a critical opportunity for Member States, UN Agencies, academics, NGOs and other stakeholders to gather at a global level for strategic advice, coordination, partnership development and the review of progress relating to the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. This year’s GPDRR was particularly significant as the first Global Platform to take place since the Sendai Framework’s adoption in March 2015 in Sendai, Japan.
During the event, CCOUC delivered two Ignite Stage presentations. The first, delivered by CCOUC Programme Manager Ms Carol Wong, entitled “Academia: Strategic Training Ground for Future DRR Practitioners” highlighted how CCOUC’s Ethnic Minority Health Project and the strategic positioning of CCOUC as an academic institution serving to expose students to disaster risk reduction (DRR) concepts and fieldwork, paving the way for them to become future practitioners in the field. The second was delivered by Ms Sharon Lo, CCOUC Project Officer, in conjunction with Mr Jonathan Abrahams, Disaster Risk Management Focal Point at the World Health Organization (WHO), and Prof Virginia Murray, Consultant in Global Disaster Risk Reduction at Public Health England, on the topic of “Enabling Evidence for Effectiveness: Developing Health-DRR Partnerships for the Implementation of the Sendai Framework”. There, the trio highlighted the establishment of the WHO Thematic Platform for Health Emergency and Disaster Risk Management (Health-EDRM) Research Group in September 2016, and issued a call to action for all stakeholders to join them in developing the research field.
In addition, CCOUC actively participated in two meetings relating to the WHO Thematic Platform for Health-EDRM, where Ms Gloria Chan, CCOUC Assistant Director, gave a presentation regarding CCOUC’s latest work in the Health-EDRM field, and the recent activities of the WHO Thematic Platform for Health-EDRM Research Group. CCOUC also joined forces with the WHO and other health stakeholders to run an exhibition booth promoting ongoing work around the world in the Health-EDRM field.
Overall, the Global Platform represented an important opportunity for CCOUC to contribute to important global discussions relating to the implementation of the Sendai Framework, and to advocate for the integration of health as an important tool for effective disaster risk reduction.