CBSS Secretariat’s Director General Ambassador Maira Mora was invited to represent the Baltic Sea Region at the High-Level Roundtable on “Protecting Europe’s citizens: the social contract on disaster resilience” which was held on 22 November 2018 during the European Forum for Disaster Risk Reduction in Rome. The roundtable, co-chaired by the Government of Italy and the UNISDR, saw the participation of European Ministers and Deputy Ministers, the Council of the Baltic Sea States, the European Commission and the World Bank. The Roundtable also highlighted that the European region has experienced devastating heatwaves and floods and deadly forest fires which have exposed the vulnerability of citizens and natural systems.
The high-level delegates discussed a variety of issues such as how and where to enhance cooperation on disaster resilience, how to best anticipate and manage increasing disaster risks and the consequent disruptive social and economic impacts, how to shift from response to better disaster risk management, and ultimately how to better protect citizens from all kinds of disasters.
Ambassador Mora highlighted the efforts of the CBSS and its member states in making the region more resilient and stressed that “transnational cooperation in dealing with the consequences of climate change and handling disasters and emergencies is absolutely necessary”. Ms Mora also drew attention to the importance of cross-sectoral cooperation: ”climate change experts need to work together with experts in civil protection.”
On 23 November, the CBSS Secretariat’s Director General was invited for a bilateral meeting with the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction, Mami Mizutori. During the meeting, Ms Mizutori praised the CBSS Secretariat’s efforts in supporting the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and, on behalf of UNISDR, offered the Council assistance in its current and future activities: “We support Member States of the UN globally in the implementation of the Sendai Framework … we are glad to assist in any way possible, especially when it comes to practical implementation – we want to get practical.”
Paola Albrito, UNISDR’s Regional Coordinator for Europe, also present at the meeting, thanked Ambassador Mora for her continuous leadership of the CBSS Secretariat in “doing important work in promoting the topic of Disaster Risk Reduction on the political level – this is really needed.”
Ambassador Mora reconfirmed the CBSS dedication to the implementation of the Sendai Framework and stressed its relevance to the Baltic Sea Region: “The Sendai Framework is not only pertinent to the developing countries – the consequences of climate change are visible in the Baltic Sea Region through forest fires, droughts, floods and storms.”
“The most relevant issues in the Baltic Sea Region related to the implementation of the Sendai Framework are to take stock of the risks, to organize capacities for receiving international assistance in disaster situations, to exchange information between the countries and to have common principles when it comes to monitoring of the implementation”, added Ambassador Mora, while giving an overview of the Secretariat’s Civil Security team activities in facilitating international cooperation on societal security.