International Online Conference to Address Water-related DRR under COVID-19

Summary of Proceedings

Program of the Symposium with link to the speeches/presentations

Video recording of the Conference

The International Online Conference to Address Water-related Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) under the COVID-19 Pandemic was jointly organized by the High-Level Experts and Leaders Panel on Water and Disasters (HELP), the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA)/United Nations Centre for Regional Development (UNCRD), the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS) on August 20th, 2020.

Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress of Japan together with approximately 300 participants from 40 countries attended and viewed the Conference virtually.

As the world continues to tackle the COVID-19 crisis, the threats of water-related disasters remain as imminent now as before COVID-19. Numerous people around the world have been affected and thousands of people have lost their lives due to water-related disasters, which are increasingly frequent. In light of the current pandemic, competition and complications among disaster risk reduction (DRR) emergency responses and the COVID-19 health care responses exacerbate the challenges and could magnify negative impacts in certain countries and cities. (Please see the concept note for more detailed background and objectives of the Conference.)

In this Online Conference on Water-related Disasters under COVID-19, leaders, government officials, representatives of international/UN organizations as well as civil society organizations, and experts on disaster risk reduction, water and health discussed effective ways to address water-related disaster risk reduction in times of the COVID-19 pandemic. Chaired by Dr. Han Seung-soo, HELP Chair and Former Prime Minister of the Republic of Korea, the keynote speeches were delivered by Mr. Angel Gurría, Secretary-General of the Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and H.E. Dr. Danilo Türk, Former President of the Republic of Slovenia, Chair of the Global High-Level Panel on Water and Peace and Lead Political Advisor of the Geneva Water Hub.