Engaging local governments at the World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction

World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction

The Third United Nations World Conference on Disaster Reduction (WCDRR) will take place from 13 to 18 March in Sendai, Japan, where an agreement on the post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction will be adopted. This framework will guide and support our collective efforts to build nations and communities that are resilient to disasters. All stakeholders committed to disaster risk reduction and resilience will gather in Sendai. The outcomes of the WCDRR are expected to focus on accelerated implementation at local level.


Preparatory meetings for local authorities including ICLEI, UCLG, UNISDR and partners of the Making Cities Resilient Campaign will take place on 13 March. A ministerial round table on urban challenges will take place on 16 March.

To address the gap in local implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) 2005-2015, UNISDR launched the Making Cities Resilient Campaign in 2010 and has developed a global network of local governments committed to reducing risk and building more resilient cities with the support of local government organizations such as ICLEI and UCLG. These local government bodies represent cities of different sizes, characteristics, risk profiles and locations. Their efforts are reinforced by a supportive group of partner organizations. Through high profile media and public awareness activities, the campaign has helped to build a strong sense of political commitment among local governments to reduce disaster risk and address climate change adaptation.

Taking into account the experience gained through the implementation of the HFA, and in pursuit of the expected outcome and goal, laid out in the post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction, there is a need for accelerated and focused action across sectors by local and national governments, in the following priority areas:

  1. Understanding disaster risk
  2. Strengthening governance and institutions to manage disaster risk
  3. Investing in economic, social, cultural and environmental resilience
  4. Enhancing preparedness for effective response and building back better in recovery and reconstruction
  5. Providing local authorities with adequate resources and capacities to implement coherent strategies in line with the framework

Recognizing the pivotal role of local and regional governments in urban risk reduction and resilience building, and given the multiple efforts underway to support local governments in their adaptation and resilience efforts, the post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction provides a much-needed opportunity by calling for actions in the areas of governance and capacity building, legal and institutional frameworks, planning, finance and monitoring.

The purpose of the participation of local authorities in the Conference is to discuss the implementation of the post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction at local level and to show their political willingness and involvement to strengthen the resilience of their community and territory. Local officials will agree upon and endorse the declaration of mayors.


Local and regional governments are co-organizing a ministerial round table on the theme: “Reducing Disaster Risk in Urban Settings”. This round table will take place on Monday 16 March and participation is by invitation only. It will provide an opportunity for an interactive debate between representatives of States and local and regional governments, focusing on the priorities and key measures that should support the post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction.

For more info about registrations please click here.

Check out the UCLG webpage on disaster risk reduction.