High-Level Expert Panel on Water and Disaster (HLEP/UNSGAB)
The High-Level Expert Panel on Water and Disaster (HLEP/UNSGAB) was convened at the request of the UN Secretary General’s Advisory Board on water and Sanitation (UNSGAB) in 2007, under the Presidency of H.E. Dr. Han Seung-soo, Prime Minister of the Republic of Korea and Former President of the Korea Water Forum. The HELP included 21 experts in disaster preparedness and response and international issues, and was co-moderated by the World Water Council, the UN Secretariat for the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR), the Japan Water Forum and the Korea Water Forum.
As the fruit of serious and devoted efforts from its participants, and united in its sincere wish to build a safer world, HLEP created the report “Water and Disaster” which was launched during the 4th World Water Forum in Istanbul.
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Tokyo Meeting of the High-Level Expert Panel on Water and Disaster (28 April 2011)
In the wake of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami on 11 March 2011, the HLEP/UNSGAB gathered in Tokyo for an urgent meeting. The overwhelming consensus of the one-day meeting underlined that ‘lessons learned’ from the Japanese and other natural disasters should be quickly and rigorously applied, that disaster management and prevention were increasingly inter-related and could no longer be treated in isolation and that far greater cooperation at state, regional and international levels was needed. The meeting, co-hosted by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and attended by international experts and government delegates, called for a series of immediate actions, including a special or plenary UN session on water-related disasters, and strengthening of regional cooperation, etc.
UN Special Thematic Session on Water and Disasters (6 March 2013)
The UN Special Thematic Session on Water and Disasters was convened as an initiative of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the UN Headquarters. The session was organized by the Secretary-General, Secretary General’s Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation (UNSGAB), and HLEP/UNSGAB. It was the first event in the UN history to have dedicated discussion on the subject of water and disasters.
The session underscored “water and disasters” as one of the most important, pressing issues the international community should urgently address at the highest levels. Furthermore, the Special Meeting of the High Level Experts Panel on Water and Disaster (HLEP/UNSGAB) held in conjunction with the Special Thematic Session proposed to strengthen HLEP/UNSGAB by inviting more political leaders and government representatives into the panel members and renaming the panel from HLEP/UNSGAB to “High-level Experts and Leaders Panel on Water and Disasters (HELP).”