Asia-Pacific Meeting on Disability-inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction: Changing Mindsets through Knowledge

22-23 April 2014, Sendai, Japan

Sendai Mediatheque



Outcome Document of the Asia-Pacific Meeting on Disability-inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction



Asia-Pacific is the region most adversely affected by disasters. Evidence from recent Japanese experience in disasters indicates that persons with disabilities are two to four times more likely to die than the general population when a disaster occurs. As ageing and disability are closely interconnected, the gap may be expected to widen if no action is taken to address present shortcomings in disaster risk reduction.  Many Governments in the region do not incorporate disability perspectives in legal  frameworks,  policies  and  action plans for disaster risk reduction (DRR).  Thus, in  much  of the ESCAP region, physical infrastructure, and disaster  response services do not incorporate universal design principles. Public service announcements are often issued in formats and language that are not accessible by persons with disabilities.  Emergency exits, shelters and facilities tend not to be barrier-free.  Such drawbacks place persons with disabilities, and older persons at much higher risks, especially when disasters strike.

The regular  participation  of  persons  with  disabilities  in emergency  preparedness  and  other  disaster risk reduction measures would save  lives, as well as prevent and minimize risk and damage when disasters occur.  The Incheon Strategy to “Make the Right Real” for Persons with Disabilities in  Asia and the Pacific provides the ESCAP region, and the world, with the first  set  of  regionally-agreed,  disability-inclusive development goals, comprising  10  interrelated  and  time-bound  goals,  27  targets  and  62 indicators.   Through  Goal  7  of the Incheon Strategy, Governments in the region   committed  to  strengthening  disability-inclusive  disaster  risk reduction (DRR) planning and action.

The  Hyogo  Framework  for  Action  (HfA): Building the resilience of nations  and  communities  to  disasters,  which  is  the global mandate on disaster  risk  reduction, does not make explicit reference to disability.  The  HfA  is  expected  to be updated and strengthened in 2015 at the Third World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, to be hosted by the Government of  Japan  from  14  to  18  March  2015  in  Sendai,  Japan. Prior to the Conference, the 2014 Pacific Platform for Disaster Risk Management will be held in Suva, from 2 - 4 June 2014, while the 6th Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction will  be  held  from  23  to  26 June 2014 in Bangkok. These meetings present critical opportunities to promote disability inclusion in DRR.It  is  against  this  background  that  the  Asia-Pacific Meeting on Disability-inclusive  Disaster  Risk  Reduction  is  being organized by the United  Nations  Economic  and  Social  Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP),  in  cooperation  with  Rehabilitation International and the Nippon Foundation.  The  Meeting  will bring together disaster risk policy experts and  disability  policy  experts  from  Governments,  and disability rights experts  from  civil  society  organizations  in the Asia-Pacific region.

The venue of the Asia-Pacific Meeting on Disability-inclusive Disaster Risk  Reduction is the Sendai Mediatheque




Item 1: Opening and objectives of the Meeting

  • Joint welcome statement by coorganizers ESCAP, Rehabilitation International and The Nippon Foundation
  • Message of Ms. Margareta Wahlström, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction, delivered by Ms. Yuki Matsuoka, Head, UNISDR Office, Japan
  • Congratulatory statement by Mr. Akira Fujimoto, Deputy Mayor, Sendai City, Japan
  • Opening statement by Mr. Yoshitami Kameoka, Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office, Government of Japan

Item 2: Asia-Pacific disaster trends, and disability-inclusive disaster risk reduction (DiDRR) mandates

Item 3: Introduction of the draft outcome document of the Meeting

Item 4: Disability inclusion in diverse aspects of DiDRR: sharing of practices and gap analysis

Item 5: Accessibility and DiDRR: “Universal design saves all lives”, presentation by Dr. Saneyuki Udagawa, Principal Researcher, Disaster Reduction and Human Renovation Institution, Kobe, Japan

Item 6: Consideration of the draft outcome document and next steps

Item 7: Closing


ESCAP Partners