On the eve of Wednesday 21st of March, the UN Delegates Entrance to the General Assembly filled up with people coming to attend the opening reception of the photo exhibit Saving the Day After Tomorrow: Accelerating sustainable development through disaster risk reduction The pictures exhibited comes from the UNs own archives, and shows the aftermaths of disaster, such as hurricanes, as well as what’s being done to reduce them.
Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction, Margareta Wahlström. Photo: Norway UN Mission/Sigrun Agøy EngumSetting disaster risk reduction on the agenda
The Group of Friends is co-chaired by Australia, Indonesia, Norway and Peru and was formed last month to provide governments with a forum to discuss elements of disaster risk reduction that can be reflected in the outcome document of Rio+20. All the delegations were represented at the opening of the exhibition. Also the President of the General Assembly, Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser and Special Representative of the Secretary General for Disaster Risk Reduction, Margareta Wahlström, gave speeches. Margareta Wahlström highlighted that:
"There is no sustainable development that does not consider risk and disaster prevention at its core”, and continued to explain how important it is to integrate disaster risk reduction into development.
"-what does it mean?", she asked rhetorically and answered herself:
"These photos show you that it involves education, risk management, creating safer urban areas by tackling informal settlements. It means shoring up coral reefs and mangroves to counter a depleted ecosystem. It means food security."
The President of the General Assembly since last September, Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, has made disaster risk reduction a priority during the General Assembly's current session, and is expected to host a thematic debate related to disaster risk reduction in April.
"The debate will bring some of the world's leading thinkers and practitioners on development and risk management together for an interactive dialogue that, I trust, will support Member States in the lead-up to Rio. Together we must ensure that the growing international momentum on disaster risk reduction delivers clear results at the Rio+20 Conference in June," said Mr. Al-Nasser.
Saving the day
The exhibition's title, Saving the day after tomorrow, is a play on the name of the 2004 Hollywood film The Day After Tomorrow, which examines what would happen if global warming caused a cataclysmic climatic event. The exhibition runs until Friday, March 30.
You can also see the exhibited pictures here.
And find pictures from the opening here.
Photo: Norway UN Mission/Sigrun Agøy Engum