The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 (SFDRR) is the first major agreement of the post-2015 development agenda. It was endorsed by the UN General Assembly following the 2015 Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (WCDRR). It has been widely hailed as the most inclusive of its kind. The framework provides multiple references to accessibility, inclusion and universal design, provides an outline that can lead to a safer, more resilient world for all. The Sendai Framework underscores that disaster risk reduction is essential to achieve sustainable development. This is echoed in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Indeed, ten of the seventeen SDGs have targets related to disaster risk, firmly establishing the role of disaster risk reduction in realizing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), the Incheon Strategy: Make the Right Real and relevant international and regional documents all call for disability-inclusive disaster risk and crises management.
Bangladesh organized the Dhaka Conference on Disability & Disaster Risk Management in December 2015 to share experience and knowledge on disability inclusive DRM, with a purpose to identify concrete actions for inclusive implementation of the SFDRR. It was attended by over 400 participants from 18 different countries, with nearly 25% of the participants being persons with disabilities.
The outcome document of the Dhaka Conference was the Dhaka Declaration on Disability and DRM. This Declaration supports the implementation of the Sendai Framework by calling for inclusion and the full and meaningful participation of persons with disabilities in all disaster risk management programs, including specific actions to be undertaken by 2017. During the conference, the participants and organizers identified a necessity to organize such international level conferences on a regular basis to strengthen and sustain international support for the inclusive implementation of the SFDRR.
Following the Dhaka conference, the Dhaka Declaration found due prominence. It was promoted at international, regional and at national levels by different agencies. The Declaration was made available in the accessible format, translated into different languages and referred to during the development of inclusive DRR plans and roadmaps in the light of the Sendai Framework.
At the national level, the Government of Bangladesh has taken a lead in implementing the propositions of the declaration. A national task force has already been launched to monitor the progress of its implementation within the country, by both the government and non-government sectors, and to also encourage others to follow suit. Also, a national focal person has been nominated, who will represent Bangladesh at international platforms on DRM, to ensure disability inclusion under the broader framework of SFDRR.
The Government of Bangladesh has significantly contributed to disability inclusion into the Asian Region Plan to implement the Sendai Framework 2015-2030 during the Asian Ministerial Conference on DRR-2016 (AMCDRR), hosted by India. The New Delhi Declaration, an outcome document of this AMCDRR makes reference to the Dhaka Conference on Disability and DRM. During the AMCDRR, the Honorable Minister for Disaster Management & Relief, Government of Bangladesh declared that the 2nd International Conference on Disability & Disaster Risk Management shall again be hosted and organized at Dhaka by the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief (MoDMR), Government of Bangladesh in 2017. However, considering the very long disaster situation prevailing in the country in 2017 the conference had been shifted to the first half of 2018.
The conference this year will also focus on addressing disability issues in the humanitarian crisis, which was strongly highlighted in the World Humanitarian Summit in 2016 and in relevant documents.