India’s Disaster Management Authority head appointed UN Asst Secretary-General

GS Paper III

News Excerpt: 

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres announced the appointment of Kamal Kishore of India as Assistant Secretary-General and Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction, United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR).


  • The UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), formerly UNISDR, was established in 1999 to coordinate disaster reduction efforts within the UN system and promote synergies with regional and humanitarian organizations.
    • The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) is the designated focal point in the United Nations system for the coordination of disaster reduction.
  • Role of UNDRR:
    • UNDRR works globally with a wide range of partners and stakeholders towards the prevention of new, and the reduction of existing disaster risk.
    • Supporting the Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, and other global development goals, UNDRR promotes the strengthening of resilience through successful multi-hazard disaster risk management.

UNDRR delivers through four Strategic Objectives and one Enabler:

  • Strategic Objective 1: Countries use quality risk information and analysis to reduce risk and inform development decisions.
  • Strategic Objective 2: Disaster risk reduction governance strengthened at global, regional, national, and local levels.
  • Strategic Objective 3: Catalyze investment and action in disaster risk reduction through partnerships and stakeholder engagement.
  • Strategic Objective 4: Mobilize governments & other stakeholders through advocacy and knowledge sharing to make DRR central to sustainable development.
  • Enabler: Strengthened organizational performance

Ongoing projects of UNDRR:

The Making Cities Resilient 2030 (MCR2030): 

  • It is a unique cross-stakeholder initiative for improving local resilience through advocacy, sharing knowledge and experiences, establishing mutually reinforcing city-to-city learning networks, injecting technical expertise, connecting multiple layers of government, and building partnerships. 
  • MCR2030 will support cities on their journey to reduce risk and build resilience by delivering a clear roadmap to urban resilience, providing access to knowledge and monitoring and reporting tools.

Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction (GAR):

  • It is a biennial global assessment of disaster risk reduction and a comprehensive review and analysis of the natural hazards affecting humanity.
    • The GAR aims to focus international attention on disaster risk and encourage political and economic support for disaster risk reduction. 
  • The GAR contributes to achieving the Hyogo Framework of Action (HFA) by monitoring risk patterns, trends, and progress in disaster risk reduction while providing strategic policy guidance to countries and the international community.

Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030:

  • It was the first major agreement of the post-2015 development agenda and provided member states with concrete actions to protect development gains from disaster risk.
  • The Sendai Framework is the successor instrument to the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) 2005-2015: Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disasters. It is the outcome of stakeholder consultations initiated in March 2012 and inter-governmental negotiations held from July 2014 to March 2015, which the UNDRR supported upon the request of the UN General Assembly.
  • Four Priority Areas of the Sendai Framework:
    • Understand disaster risk.
    • Strengthening disaster risk governance to manage disaster risk.
    • Investing in disaster risk reduction for resilience.
    • Enhancing disaster preparedness for effective response and to “Build Back Better” in recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction.

G20 Disaster Risk Reduction Working Group: 

  • Established under India’s G20 presidency in 2023, the Working Group aims to integrate disaster risk reduction into the G20's work and support for developing countries.
  • The Disaster Risk Reduction Working Group supports G20 countries in developing and implementing national policies that reduce risk today and build resilience against future shocks by sharing expertise and good practices and developing guidance documents and common approaches. 
  • To promote disaster risk reduction in the work of international financial institutions and across the global financial system.

The Working Group’s activities focus on six high-impact areas for disaster risk reduction:

  • Combating Inequalities and Reducing Vulnerabilities
  • Universal Coverage or Early Warning Systems
  • Disaster and Climate Resilient Infrastructure
  • Financing Frameworks for Disaster Risk Reduction
  • Disaster Recovery, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction
  • Nature-Based Solutions and Ecosystem-Based Approaches for Disaster Risk Reduction