Italy, represented by the Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations and other international organizations in Geneva, Ambassador Vincenzo Grassi, chaired the second meeting of the Support Group of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), at the presence of the Special Representative for the Secretary General on Disaster Risk Reduction, Mami Mizutori, and the UNDRR Director, Paola Albrito.
The meeting provided updates to the Member States concerning the preparations of the upcoming COP28, scheduled to take place in Dubai from 30 November to 12 December 2023, from a disaster risk reduction standpoint. The Deputy Permanent Representative of the United Arab Emirates thus highlighted the main initiatives of their Chairmanship concerning the implementation of the Paris Agreement and the advancement of the Loss and Damage Fund. Specific attention will also be dedicated to the Green Public Procurement Pledge, as well as an entire day dedicated to discussions on the linkages between climate change and health, which are expected to lead to a joint COP28 Declaration on Climate and Health. From a UNDRR perspective, the main goal is to raise awareness among COP28 participants on the #ZeroClimateDisasters initiative, aimed at increasing global efforts to address vulnerability and exposure to climate risks: on the one hand, accelerating action on climate adaptation and disaster risk reduction, while on the other hand containing further risks by reducing emissions in a more effective manner.
The meeting also addressed the topic of private investments in the field of disaster risk reduction. Participants were able thus to benefit from the presentation of the British financial services company Octopus Investments, managing more than 13 billion pounds on behalf of over 63,000 investors. The company is a member of the UNDRR Investment Advisory Board, which aims at mobilizing public and private investments dedicated to disaster risk reduction, accelerating the implementation of the Sendai Framework and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The participants expressed great interest for the topics discussed, as proven by a high number of interventions from the floor and the words of appreciation for the work of UNDRR. The next meeting of the Support Group under the Italian Chairpersonship is scheduled for 8 December 2023 and will be the last of the Special Representative Mami Mizutori, whose mandate expires at the end of the current year.