Event date


About the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction

The Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction will be held from 14 to 18 March 2015 in Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan according to the decision made by the United Nations General Assembly Resolution (A/RES/67/209). Several thousand participants are expected, including at related events linked to the World Conference under the umbrella of building the resilience of nations and communities to disasters.

Objectives of the Conference

The United Nations General Assembly Resolution for 2013 on International Strategy for Disaster Reduction states that the World Conference will result in a concise, focused, forward-looking, and action-oriented outcome document and will have the following objectives:

  • To complete assessment and review of the implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action
  • To consider the experience gained through the regional and national strategies/institutions and plans for disaster risk reduction and their recommendations as well as relevant regional agreements within the implementation of the Hyogo Framework of Action
  • To adopt a post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction
  • To identify modalities of cooperation based on commitments to implement a post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction
  • To determine modalities to periodically review the implementation of a post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction

Participation and Registration

The Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction and its preparatory process welcome the participation and contributions of all relevant stakeholders, including parliaments, civil society, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, non-governmental organizations, national platforms for disaster risk reduction, focal points for the Hyogo Framework for Action, local government representatives, scientific institutions and the private sector, as well as organizations of the United Nations system and intergovernmental organizations.

Among a large variety of side events included in the WCDRR programme, the conference will host a special session on Habitat III and the new urban agenda, to discuss urban resilience and linkages with the Post-2015 agenda and the successor agreement to the Hyogo framework.

Click here for registration and more information.

Habitat III session at the World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction

This session further aims to initiate a dialogue on how to achieve a cohesive and comprehensive set of commitments related to sustainable urban development across all the post-2015 frameworks, including the successor agreement to the HFA.

Objectives of the Session

The main objective of the session is to raise awareness of the aims of Habitat III and the core principles guiding the New Urban Agenda.

To achieve these objectives, the session offers the following Guiding Questions:

  1. How can the core principles guiding the New Urban Agenda for the 21st Century contribute to the scope and implementation of the post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction?
  2. Given the strong role of the private sector in urban development and re-development, and the significant finance that will flow into urban infrastructure over the next 20-30 years, how can UN agencies, civil society, and others engage private enterprise and the investment community in supporting sound urban plans and designs?
  3. How can local and sub-national needs and priorities be better integrated or aligned with national level efforts to build resilience?
  4. Whether it’s in the context of risk reduction, sustainable development, climate change, or humanitarian assistance, all of the post-2015 frameworks will have some urban dimension. Given this, how can we ensure the set of commitments made across all of these frameworks will lead to a cohesive and comprehensive platform for delivering the New Urban Agenda?

Through interactive debates, the panelists will articulate some of the main elements to be proposed for a new urban agenda, striving to demonstrate how through an integrated approach they will contribute to disaster risk reduction and the objectives being defined by the Hyogo framework.

In particular, the session is expected to make the case for a New Urban Agenda that facilitates the development of resilient urban systems through focusing on improved urban and spatial planning, governance, laws and institutions. These elements can work together to maximize investments by minimizing vulnerability and potential losses from disasters, while delivering dividends to the people in the form of increasing livability, a city’s competitiveness, and attractiveness to investors and businesses.

The session will also contribute to discuss and elaborate specific messaging for the Habitat III process and for a New Urban Agenda that is implementable within the post-2015 development framework as well as coherent and synergetic with the other global frameworks like HFA2 and COP21.

Format of the Session

The session will be structured in two parts:

Part one (60 min)

- An introductory session in which high level representatives will set the stage with key note speeches, outlining the overall framework and objectives of the debate, including political and substantive implications. These are expected to be thought provoking and inspire the audience and the panelists towards new way forwards.

Part Two (80 min including 15/20 min Q&A)

- A more substantive and interactive discussion with high level panelists from different constituencies and geographic origins. The panelists will articulate their views and proposals on the new urban agenda with a focus on its linkages and effectiveness vis-a-vis Disaster Risk Reduction and other global development frameworks strategies. The moderator and panelists will actively engage the audience in the debate.

Speakers will include representatives from National and Local Governments, civil society, academia as well United Nations and World Bank.

Speakers at the Session


1. Dr. Joan Clos

Executive Director UN-Habitat

2. Mr. Kisaburo Ishii

Vice-Minister of Transport and Tourism

Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism

3. Mr. Yoshiaki Kawata

Director and Professor Research Center for Safety Science at Kansai University

Executive Director of Disaster Reduction and Human Renovation Institute

4. Mr. Ede Ijjasz-Vasquez

Senior Director, Global Practice on Social, Urban, Rural, and Resilience, World Bank Group

5. Mr. Enrique Penalosa

Former Mayor of Bogota

6. Mr. David Miliband (to be confirmed)

President and CEO International Rescue Committee (IRC)

7. Mr. Aromar Revi (to be confirmed)

Director of Indian Institute for Human Settlements

8. Ms. Fatimetou Mint Abdel Malick (to be confirmed)

Mayor of Tevragh-Zeina Municipality in Nouakchott Mauritania

9. Ms. Margareta Wahlström (to be confirmed)

Special Representative of the Secretary General For Disaster Risk Reduction, Head, UNISDR

10. Mr. Henk Ovink

Special Envoy for International Waters Affairs, The Netherlands

11. Mr. Ken Terry

Head, National Disaster Manage Centre, South Africa

12. Mr.Michael Berkowitz

Managing Director, Rockefeller Foundation, 100 Resilient Cities Initiative

13. Mr. Michael Lopez Rama

Mayor of Cebu, Philippines

14. Mr. Yoshi Fukawasa

Director of UN-Habitat office for Asia and the Pacific

15. H.E. Leonardo Carrión

Ambassador of Ecuador in Japan