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UN to adopt new global framework on disaster risk reduction

BANGKOK, March 9 (Xinhua) -- The Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, scheduled to convene in Sendai, Japan from March 14-18, will adopt a new framework for disaster risk reduction for the coming 15 years.

"Leaders and decision-makers across Asia and the Pacific are preparing to finalize a new global framework for disaster risk reduction, which will replace the 2005 Hyogo Framework for Action, " Dr. Shamshad Akhtar, UN Under-Secretary-General, and UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) Executive Secretary, said here on the pre-event press briefing.

In 2014, over half of the world's 226 natural disasters occurred in the Asia and Pacific region, according to the Natural Disasters in Asia and the Pacific: 2014 Year in Review report, released by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) in Monday.

In total, over 6,000 fatalities were caused by natural disasters, compared to 18,744 deaths in 2013. Approximately 79.6 million people were affected by natural disasters across the region.

The report highlights that the highest economic losses in Asia and the Pacific were incurred from river-basin floods (16 billion U.S. dollars) and Cyclone HudHud ( 11 billion dollars) in India, followed by the Ludian earthquake in China (6 billion dollars).

"The Asia-Pacific region continues to be battered by natural disasters with ever rising economic losses," said Ms. Shamika Sirimanne, Director of the Information and Communications Technology and Disaster Risk Reduction Division.

"ESCAP research show that disasters are already rolling back sustainable development gains. It is high time natural disasters are considered as a serious threat to development and poverty reduction in Asia and the Pacific."

Dr. Shamshad said ESCAP has been urging all Asia-Pacific countries, all levels of governments and sectors to cooperate for sharing real-time information of storms, floods and other disasters, and help to forecast hazards and disseminate early warning information across countries.

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