5-6 September 2019 | MAKATI – Almost two hundred delegates from 14 countries participated in UCLG ASPAC Executive Bureau and Council Meetings, hosted by Makati city government. This year statutory meetings focused on the role of local governments in addressing disaster risks, with the aim of accelerating the implementation of Sendai Framework for the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM).  The meeting also discussed the preparation of UCLG ASPAC’s participation in the upcoming World Congress, where nominations of UCLG ASPAC members will be made for UCLG World Governing Bodies.  The meeting also considered UCLG ASPAC members’ proposals to host statutory meetings including UCLG ASPAC Congress in 2020.

During the opening session, Mayor Mar-len Abigail Binay-Campos of Makati, highlighted her city’s vision to become the first smart city in the country by 2025.  Driven by this goal which foresees sustainable and resilient communities, the DRRM Forum conducted during the Council Meeting served as a platform for local leaders and their partners to learn and exchange ideas on effective and efficient DRR strategies.  In her welcome remarks, UCLG ASPAC President and Mayor Tri Rismaharini of Surabaya called on local governments to support the Sendai Framework implementation and stated that “Protecting the life of the people is an area I want to see more in UCLG ASPAC programmes and activities.”

The forum’s keynote speaker, Dr. Chandra Bahadur Shrestha of the Nepal Reconstruction Authority, explained that geographical landscape is a factor that makes Nepal susceptible to natural disasters such as flooding, landslide, and earthquake.  He shared that as the country is in transition to a federal system, local governments are evolving to fulfil its functions.  He emphasised that disaster component in local government plans are curative and not preventive.  Moving forward, he explained the importance of financial instruments and infrastructure developments to support local governments in addressing the challenges on DRR.

Discussion in the forum was also enriched with two panel discussions.  The first panel discussed the connection between national and local DRR strategies to accelerate the achievement of Target E of the Sendai Framework.  The second panel focused on post-disaster reconstruction and rehabilitation.  Speakers included representatives from central government, local government, and civil society who discussed their work and DRR initiatives.

During the event, the delegates had the privilege to visit the Makati DRRM Operations Centre at the Makati City Hall.  The Makati Command, Control, and Communication (C3) Centre has been fully operated since 2006.  A pioneering unit in the country for centralised emergency coordination and response, Makati C3 provides an Emergency Management Framework and a seamless concept of operations for the local governments in the country.  It serves as a model for localised emergency management.  Delegates were also introduced to the city’s response vehicles and equipment.

The forum was followed by UCLG ASPAC Executive Bureau Meeting and Council Meeting chaired by President Tri Rismaharini on 6 September 2019.  Key results of the meetings include: 1) the hosting of 8th UCLG ASPAC Congress; 2) consolidating UCLG ASPAC nominations for the UCLG World Presidency 2019-2022; 3) supporting the candidacy of Xi’an Mayor as Co-President representing ASPAC in UCLG World Governing Body; and 4) supporting the candidacy of Daejeon City to host the 2022 UCLG World Congress

UCLG ASPAC Council Meeting 2019 and Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Forum saw successful organisation through insightful discussions and the achievement of agreements among members on organisational matters.  UCLG ASPAC thanks City Government of Makati for its kind support and hospitality expressed throughout the event.