Press Release
January 19, 2016

Senate commends UN Special Representative

The Senate today adopted a resolution commending Margareta Wahlstrom, special representative of the United Nations (UN) Secretary General for Disaster Risk Reduction, for her role in mainstreaming disaster risk reduction in international development frameworks and supporting the key disaster risk management programs in the country.

Senate Resolution No. 1700 was introduced by Senator Loren Legarda.

According to the resolution, Wahlstrom was appointed by the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as his Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction and head of the United Nations Office for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) in November 2008.

In her capacity as head of the UNISDR, she served as the focal point in the UN system for the coordination of disaster risk reduction efforts and providing institutional support for a 10 year plan called the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015, which aimed to build resilience of communities against natural hazards, and its successor, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, which sets priorities for action and clear actionable targets for reducing disaster risk and losses.

"During her period of leadership in the UNISDR, more than 170 Philippine provinces, cities and municipalities became engaged in the 'Making Cities Resilient Campaign', which paved the way for the municipality of San Francisco in Camotes Island, Cebu, to be recognized as a leader in disaster risk reduction through the 2011 UNISDR Sasakawa Award, and making known worldwide the exceptional work by local governments such as the promotion of 'zero casualty' in Albay province and the swift and resilient shift to recovery of Cebu province after Typhoon Haiyan," the resolution also said.

The resolution also commended Wahlstrom for her advocacy on safe schools and hospitals, which engaged the Department of Education and local government units on school safety assessment, disaster risk reduction in education and preparedness in schools.

"Her engagement with the private sector resulted in the launch in the Philippines of the Risk Sensitive Societies (ARISE), which now has more than 20 companies as members sharing best practices on improving business continuity planning and disaster risk education for the private sector," the resolution also said.

"She has systematically engaged with communities at risk with particular focus given to a different group each year since 2008, starting with the youth, women, persons with disabilities, the elderly and indigenous people, resulting in a stronger voice for these groups from the Philippines in various global for a and policy making processes," the resolution added.

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