Expressing concern over the increasing impact of disasters and climate change in the Asia and the Pacific, high-level delegations from 50 countries of the region have called for drawing up an international agreement on disaster risk reduction to follow on the Hyogo Framework for Action (2005-2015).

The Hyogo Framework for Action, adopted by 168 member States of the United Nations (U.N.) at the World Disaster Reduction Conference held in Hyogo, Japan, in 2005, was the first plan to lay out a road map for governments and different sectors to build the resilience of nations and communities against disasters and reduce disaster losses.

The 5th Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction organised by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) in collaboration with the Indonesian National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB), which ended here on Thursday, also called upon stakeholders to participate fully in the consultations now under way worldwide to mainstream disaster risk reduction in the development agenda and provide inputs for the post-2015 framework.

The conference outcome was unanimously agreed at a full-plenary session. Key elements of the Yogyakarta Declaration include calls to integrate local disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation into national development planning; identify accountability measures for effective implementation ; political commitment to deliver at all levels; promote awareness, education, public access to information and resilient investments; and allocate resources to build local capacity.

“The conference has been a breakthrough in ensuring that building disaster resilience and reducing risk are embedded into the post-2015 development agenda. The world has always looked to Asia for leadership in disaster management and the Yogyakarta Declaration outlines clearly what the region's expectations are for a new international agreement on disaster risk reduction,” said Margareta Wahlstrom, the UN Secretary General’s Special Representative on Disaster Risk Reduction and Head of UNISDR.

The declaration concerns not only Asia but the entire world and it was necessary that all stake holders push the agenda of risk reduction. Many countries started working on the agenda only after the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004. It is in the interest of the countries to make disaster risk reduction a national priority and many have already done so, she said after the conference. From the next regional conference UNISDR would introduce a system to report whether the investments made by the countries on disaster risk reduction have increased and on the implementation of policy measures.

Thailand will host the 6th Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in 2014.