Cyprus is interested in further developing its capabilities in the field of civil protection, not only at a state level but also at an international and regional level, by deepening its multifaceted partnerships with states in our region - and beyond.
This is what the President's Advisor on Civil Defence and Security issues with responsibilities in Civil Protection matters, George Bοustras, said, speaking today in New York at an event organized by the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Cyprus to the United Nations, together with the respective missions of Israel and the United States.
The tripartite event, which was held on the sidelines of the High-Level Meeting on the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction Review organized by the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), was held under the theme "Regional Cooperation - Enhancing National Preparedness".
Elaborating on Nicosia's position, Dr. Bοustras explained that trilateral, multilateral as well as 3+1 partnerships can effectively promote the development of a "positive agenda" in the South-Eastern Mediterranean region with a focus on civil protection and humanitarian action. "Disasters such as the earthquakes on the Turkish-Syrian border and the deepening climate crisis", the Presidential Advisor stressed, "highlight and underline the need for regional cooperation in civil protection". President Christodoulides' advisor also explained that this cooperation is already developing, by presenting examples such as the PDEX-JIP project funded by the European Civil Protection Mechanism in which Jordan, Israel and Palestine worked together in a major earthquake scenario. A project in which the presence of Cyprus was predominant as it was coordinated by the European University Cyprus, with the participation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus and the Civil Defence of Cyprus.
Stylianides: "Landmark opportunity"
The High-Level Meeting at the UN Headquarters was also attended by the Minister of Climate Change and Civil Protection Christos Stylianides, representing Greece. In his intervention at the Plenary Session of the General Assembly, Mr. Stylianides presented the new, holistic approach adopted by the Greek government for risk reduction and disaster management. He described the New York meeting as a "landmark opportunity" to assess progress to date in implementing the Sendai Framework, to review national strategies and to define the next steps "taking into account the harsh reality of the climate crisis". At the same time, the Greek Minister, whose ministry, like the Hellenic Republic as a whole, is developing a close and multifaceted cooperation with the Republic of Cyprus on civil protection issues, took part in the High-Level Dialogue on "Risk Resilience and Sustainable Development".
Also speaking at the High-Level Meeting, the European Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič, outlined the tools used by the European Union and the initiatives undertaken by the EU to prevent, manage and respond to disasters.
The Sendai Framework is the successor to the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) 2005-2015: building the resilience of nations and communities to disasters. It emerged as a result of stakeholder consultations launched in March 2012 and intergovernmental negotiations held from July 2014 to March 2015, which was supported by UNDRR at the request of the UN General Assembly. The UNDRR has been tasked to support the implementation, monitoring and review of the Framework.
[Source: Press release]