General Assembly General Assembly

India-Japan Side Event on

The Roles of States for Promoting Investments in Disaster Risk Reduction Towards Resilient and Sustainable Future


Statement by Dr. P. K. Mishra, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister

18 May 2023


Distinguished guests and dear friends,


At the outset, I would like to thank the Government of Japan for taking the initiative to curate this event and to invite us to be a partner in this effort.


Although Sendai Framework, as well as its predecessor, Hyogo Framework, highlighted the importance of an all-of-society approach to disaster risk reduction, it is clear that States bear the primary responsibility for both stopping the creation of new disaster risks as well as reduction of existing disaster risks.


The fact that both G7 and G20 have accorded priority to disaster risk reduction indicates that the issue is now getting attention at the highest level in the global policy discourse.


In the 21st century, the States face complex challenges in Disaster Risk Reduction. Let me highlight two sets of challenges:


First, we all recognize that States must evolve a financial architecture that can address the entire spectrum of disaster risk reduction needs in a balanced way. For far too long we have focused almost entirely on financing disaster response, recovery and reconstruction. We must pay adequate attention to financing disaster risk mitigation and disaster preparedness. This is not only a matter of making a larger quantum of resources available. We have to also contend with complex issues such as:

  1. How do we increase the absorptive capacity to effectively utilize resources allocated for disaster risk mitigation? What kinds of institutional mechanisms, technical capacities and expertise do we need to develop for it? How are we going to measure outcomes?
  2. How do we balance risk mitigation financing for extensive risks (i.e. high frequency, moderate impact events) and intensive risks (i.e., low frequency, high impact events)? How do we target our assistance to the most vulnerable?

  3. How do we strike a balance between mainstreaming disaster risk reduction funding in development projects and ring-fencing separate resources for disaster risk mitigation that can have a catalytic impact on larger development processes?

These are complex challenges and countries with long history of disaster risk mitigation financing are also grappling with these challenges. We need to collaborate and learn from each other in addressing these. The G20 Working Group will meet for the second time next week and they will devote one full day to discuss issues of financing.


Second, I would like to talk about the role of State in strengthening Early Warning Systems. The notion of public-private partnership has been discussed for a long time in this context. Many private sector players have come into play, and the field is likely to get even more crowded as more sector-specific early warning services are developed. In such a context, what is the absolutely non-negotiable role of the State? Can we outsource the observational network to private players? To what extent should the State get involved in developing and deploying communication technologies? Should the State mandate private players to compulsorily provide essential early warning services in times of disasters?


There are no easy answers to some of the challenges I have identified above. However, we must contend with these challenges if we want to bring about a transformational change in the way disaster risk reduction is pursued. It will also help the State become more effective in our climate change adaptation efforts.


We look forward to engaging in this conversation and working collectively to take this agenda forward.


I wish all disaster risk management practitioners the very best in their work. Together, let us strive towards a resilient and sustainable future for ourselves and generations to come.


Thank you.