September 16, 2019
 In Articles

SUBMITTED TO: United Nations Development Programme

TOPIC: Disaster Risk Reduction

In response to the issue, the delegation of Mexico is aware that 12,000-14,000 earthquakes occur each year based on the research of the National Earthquake Information Center of the United States, and roughly 9,600 people died in 2015 from earthquakes according to the Global Death Toll Report from Statista Research Department which has led to significant international economic implications and infrastructural devastations. Mexico encourages that UN Member States review the Mexican Seismic Alert System (SASMEX), an organization that works in tandem with The Center for Instrumentation and Seismic Registration (CIRES) to give citizens a 60-second warning to evacuate buildings, which currently contains 97 seismic wave sensors, primarily along the coast of Puerto Vallarta, mountains of Guerrero, and Oaxaca, but is expanding to the Isthmus and western Chiapas with goals to be implemented throughout Mexico. Furthermore, Mexico recommends these early warning systems (EWS) be broadened on an intercontinental level by expanding into zones of high risk with no current EWS in addition to utilizing the advantages of new technology such as instant messaging and phone alerts by sending warnings immediately upon receiving and mandating the protocol to follow (i.e. evacuation to established “safe zones”).  

Fully aware that 80% of the natural disasters of the past decade have been floods and storms, which also increases the probability for countries to experience a great economic loss (i.e. the California wildfires) and lead to intrastate conflicts according to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the delegation of Mexico encourages the International Community to integrate programs similar to The National Civil Protection System (SINAPROC), the main mechanism for interagency coordination of disaster efforts of Mexico which works with the National Center for Disaster Prevention (CENAPRED), an institution that links the gap between academic researchers and government by channeling research applications developed by university researchers. Mexico emphasizes that education on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) readiness is essential for countries and their citizens to minimize casualties and advises that the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) More Education, Less Risk, a directive that provides education to K-12 schools about natural disaster preparedness, response, and rebuilding, work with establishments such as CENAPRED and other regional programs to expand the initiatives of the operation.

Noting that natural disasters caused a total of $1.5 trillion in damage worldwide between 2003 and 2013, according to a study by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the delegation of Mexico suggests that the International Body focus on funding programs such as Mexico’s FONDEN, an instrumental initiative for the coordination of intergovernmental and inter-institutional entities to quickly provide funds in response to natural disasters without compromising existing budgetary plans and approved public programs, which can benefit many nations when on a global scale. Working with different non-governmental organizations (NGOs) such as the Mennonite Central Committee and International Relief Teamsboth aim to generate funding for disaster-struck areas and rebuild homeswhich will help with more private infrastructure. Funding from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and/or the World Bank can be applied to countries that don’t have budgets set aside for the restoration of public infrastructure. The collaboration would parallel the three vital protocols of FONDEN which include the following: to finance emergency assistance to affected populations in the aftermath of a natural disaster,  to finance post-disaster rehabilitation and reconstruction of public infrastructure (including the restoration of certain components of the natural environment), and to finance the rehabilitation and reconstruction of low-income housing.

Deeply concerned that the World Bank estimated that 30 percent of Mexico’s GDP is considered to be at risk from three or more hazards and 71 percent is at risk from two or more hazards, Mexico endorsed the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015 and currently upholds the standards of the Sendai Framework for DRR. In 2017, the delegation of Mexico committed to a National Network of the Private Sector Alliance for Disaster Resilient Societies (ARISE) where different business and company leaders work together in order to reduce disaster risks through better and informed decision-making and greater collaboration with the public sector. The delegation of Mexico looks forward to furthering collaboration with the other UN Member States of the UNDP in order to develop an efficient resolution regarding the topic.

  • Katie McCarthy

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