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Statement by Ambassador LI Baodong, Head of the Chinese Delegation, at the Second Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction


Mr Chairman, Ladies and gentlemen, 

On behalf of the Chinese delegation, may I first of all extend my warm greetings to the Second Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction.  

China is the world's biggest developing country where natural disasters happen very frequently. Every year, disasters cause grave human casualties and huge property losses. In order to effectively respond to disasters of all kinds, China has established a disaster prevention, disaster reduction and disaster relief management system featuring central leadership, disaster management at different levels and departmental responsibility. At the same time, China has also set up a coordination mechanism composed of agencies such as the National Disaster Reduction Committee, State Flood and Drought Control Headquarters as well as the National Disaster Control and Relief Coordination Office with  a view to further strengthening the institutional building for disaster prevention and relief. In recent years, the Chinese Government has taken the following main measures in disaster reduction :

1.      Integrating disaster reduction into national development plans and social policies. In 2008, the Government issued the '11th five year plan on comprehensive disaster reduction' aiming  at enhancing overall national capacity in disaster reduction. Currently, the 'Plan' is being promoted in full swing, gaining recognition at all levels.

2.      Reinforcing the capacity building in  monitoring and early warning of  disaster. On the basis of existing meteorological, hydrological, earthquake, geological, marine and environmental monitoring networks, China will increase the monitoring density and upgrade monitoring level. On September 6, 2008, China lauched small satellites named Constellation A and Constellation B dedicated to environment surveillance and  disaster monitoring and forecast which provide a good platform for a complete system of disaster monitoring, early warning, assessment as well as emergency management.

3.      Strengthening emergency relief activities. China will continuously improve disaster relief programs and criteria in order to guarantee the timely rescue and proper settelement of victim populations. We will also refine the rapid response mechanism in terms of medical relief and post-disaster disease prevention, and provide better psychological support. A sound recovery and reconstruction mechanism  will be put in place in order to minimize the demage and the losses caused by disasters.

4.      Promoting community level capacity building in disaster reduction. We have basically established community-based disaster reponse system with emergency reponse plans and regular drills. Communities are provided with relevant facilities and equipment. Their capacity in disaster reduction is thus clearly enhanced.

5.      Launching campaigns to disseminate scientific knowledge and raise disaster risk awareness. At the beginning of this year, the Chinses Government decided to set May 12 every year as national 'Disaster Prevention and Reduction Day'. We will further streghthen education and awareness-raising in disaster reduction and accelerating personnel training with focus on disaster management level of government officials.

6.      Promoting international exchange and cooperation in disaster reduction. In this area, China has established close parternership with UN Development Program, UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, UN World Food Program, UN Food and Agricultural Organization and so on. We have actively participated in the DR cooperation under the UN framework, at the same time, we've also strengthened governmental cooperation with members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

On May 12, 2008, a devastating earthquake occurred in Wenchuan of Sichuan Province, China, an earthquake that shocked the whole world. China's earthquake relief work and reconstruction proved to be a shining example of international cooperation in disaster relief. Governments, civil societies and individulas from more than 160 countries as well as many international organizations provided us great deal of financial and material assistance through different channels. Some countries sent rescue teams and medical teams. For a year now, money and goods donated by all countries are extensively used in the building of important infrastructures such as housing, roads, schools and hospitals ; thus playing a very important role in the recovery work. The Chinese government established strick regulations on the donations in order to ensure that money is used effectively and  spent where it is most needed. We'd like to take this opportunity to once again express our heart-felt thanks to the international community for its huge support and precious aids.

Mr Chairman,

Facing the increasing trend of global disaster risks, the Chinese Government hope to strengthen international cooperation in three areas :

1.      step up the building of national disaster reduction platforms in order to enhance the cooperation and exchange of DRR information, scientific research and development as well as early warning information sharing.

2.      give particular attention and actively promote the work of grassroot capacity building in disaster reduction in order to improve capacity at community level, give guidance as to the reasonable allocation of disaster reduction resources and foster the awareness and knowledge of ordinary citizens of disaster prevention and reduction.

3.      the international community should pay more attention and provide assistance to the developing countries in terms of human resource training, and provide technical and financial support in disaster reduction.

Thank you for your attention !

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