First of all, it is a great honor to make the official statement on behalf of the Republic of Korea at the seventh session of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (GP2022). I would like to express my deepest gratitude to UNDRR and the Government of Indonesia for their hard work in hosting this event despite the difficult situation of COVID-19.
In 2015, we adopted the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 (Sendai Framework) and have faithfully implemented it. However, over the past two years, the world has experienced unprecedented difficulties in history due to COVID-19. Now is finally the time to discuss recovery and a leap forward after going through the dark tunnel of the pandemic.
I think it is very timely to have the opportunity to review the performance of the implementation of the Sendai Framework and to explore future commitments and directions. Today, I would like to take this opportunity to present best practices for implementing the Sendai Framework in the Republic of Korea and our future courses for improvement. I hope that this event will be a place to gather wisdom from world leaders in preparation for the disasters to come.
Korean Best Practices of the Implementation of the SendaiFramework
The Republic of Korea has accelerated its efforts to implement the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030. In particular, remarkable results have been achieved, particularly in three out of the seven Global Targets under the Sendai Framework: Target E (Increase the number of countries with national and local disaster risk reduction strategies), Target F (Substantially enhance international cooperation to developing countries), and Target G (Increase the availability of and access to multi-hazard early warning systems).
First, regarding Target E, the Republic of Korea establishes a Master Plan for National safety Management every five years for systematic and integrated disaster management. All central and 243 local governments in Korea annually develop and implement safety management plans aligned with the directives of the master plan.
Second, about Target F, Korea contributes USD 26 million per year (as of 2020) to UNDRR in line with its enhanced economic status, which marks the seventh-largest among donors. We proactively promote ODA projects in concert with the international community's efforts to overcome the global disaster crisis by sharing new technologies for disaster safety and the Korean policies and practices at various international disaster and safety events.
Lastly, with Target G, the Republic of Korea has established a Cell Broadcast Service (CBS) emergency alert service to promptly inform the public of the disaster situation via mobile phone. It also developed and utilized an early warning system to preemptively identify and notify danger signs using state-of-the-art technologies such as IoT and ICT. Moreover, we help citizens better cope with dangers around them with the Public Safety Map Service. The Map provides safety information in real-time, such as public security, traffic, and natural disasters, to ensure the day-to-day safety of the people where uncertain risks lie scattered around so that citizens can prevent and prepare in advance against those risks.
A Concerted Effort to Complement the Implementation of the Sendai Framework
Despite these achievements and efforts, COVID-19 has presented us with challenges of polarization and inequality between classes and countries. COVID-19 has had a more significant impact on the socially marginalized in critical life factors such as employment, health, and education, revealing the true face of inequality in our society.
Unfortunately, the current Sendai Framework does not have specific goals to address the polarization and inequality caused by disasters. This vulnerability will stall the progress in preparing for a disaster creating an unequal impact across society.
As we advance, we will have to think about plans to reduce the inequality gap emerging from disasters to avoid leaving anyone behind those affected most by disasters, such as women and the disabled.
When COVID-19 challenged the Republic of Korea, the spirit of inclusiveness that does not exclude anyone from the socially disadvantaged was taken as a milestone in the solution. Regardless of nationality, the Korean government provided rapid testing and quarantine treatment, secured sufficient vaccines for everyone, and inoculated the entire nation free of charge. Moreover, the impact on society was mitigated with the government's active employment retention policy, preventing social disparities amid a crisis. Improving distribution through finance has been enhanced by significantly increasing government support for the low-income class, including disaster relief funds.
Internationally, all countries backed the efforts of the WHO to ensure equal access to vaccines and actively participated in COVAX AMC to provide stable support for vaccine supply to underdeveloped countries.
Based on the spirit of inclusiveness, our country will further enlarge opportunities for vulnerable groups such as women and people with disabilities to participate as actors in disaster risk reduction activities, paving the way to reinforce the national disaster risk reduction strategy.
As a follow-up measure to the Midterm Review of the implementation of the Sendai Framework, we will establish and operate an information-sharing network with Asian countries and international disaster risk reduction experts to share our experiences with the world as a model country for implementing the Sendai Framework. Further, we will expand our humanitarian assistance to the vulnerable countries at risk.
The Republic of Korea has a strong will to overcome the crisis with the world and is ready to participate in solidarity and cooperation in the international community actively. I hope that this event will serve as a momentum for the government and all participants in society to gather their strength and will to recover and take a leap forward with concerted political, financial, and social efforts.