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Resolution adopted unanimously by the 123rd IPU Assembly
(Geneva, 6 October 2010)

The 123rd Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union,

Recalling the resolution on the earthquakes in Haiti and Chile adopted by the 122nd IPU Assembly (Bangkok, 2010), which acknowledges that the growing frequency, intensity and impact of disasters pose a significant threat to people's lives and livelihoods, and to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals,

Also recalling the resolution on natural disasters adopted by the 112th IPU Assembly (Manila, 2005), which proposes that nations further strengthen their cooperation on disaster-prevention efforts,

Further recalling previous United Nations General Assembly resolutions on enhancing humanitarian aid in natural disasters, in particular resolution 64/294 of 24 August 2010, which urges the international community, in particular donor countries, international financial institutions and relevant international organizations, as well as the private sector and civil society, to extend full support and assistance to the Government of Pakistan in its efforts to mitigate the adverse impacts of the floods and to meet the medium- and long-term rehabilitation and reconstruction needs,

Noting the international framework for action provided by the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) and the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015, which were the main outcomes of the 2005 World Conference on Disaster Reduction,

Also noting the decisions of the Forty-sixth Session of the United Nations General Assembly regarding the establishment of the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (UNCERF) as a mechanism for ensuring that funds go where they are most needed and that there is a rapid and coordinated response by the international community to natural disasters,

Underscoring the importance of international inter-parliamentary cooperation in natural disaster mitigation, given the growing role played by international and regional inter-parliamentary organizations in related social and humanitarian areas,

Deeply concerned about the suffering endured by the victims of natural disasters - loss of life, refugee flows, collective displacement of populations, and physical and financial destruction - and considering that this should serve to promote international inter-parliamentary cooperation aimed at mitigating human suffering and accelerating rehabilitation and reconstruction,

Considering thatover 2,000 lives were lost in the floods in Pakistan, 2 million people were displaced and the physical damage and resulting economic losses were huge; also considering that, according to Pakistani Government figures, more than 20 million people have been left homeless, over 1.8 million houses damaged, 3,000 people injured, 40 bridges damaged, 2 million hectares of cultivated land fouled, 1.3 million hectares of standing crops destroyed, 1.2 million heads of livestock drowned,  3.5 million jobs lost, and 1,300 schools and 5,000 health facilities damaged,

Noting that the massive scale of destruction and loss of life caused by the unprecedented flooding, which was itself triggered by torrential rainfall in an otherwise arid region, reflects the adverse impact of climate change and the growing vulnerability of countries to such change,

Also noting the growing number and complexity of human catastrophes and natural disasters, the impact of which exceeds the disaster-response capacity of many affected countries, in particular their ability to provide food, medicine, shelter and health care to disaster victims,

Expressing its sincere sympathy and solidaritywith the people and communities affected by disasters, particularly those in flood-stricken Pakistan, in the wake of the extensive damage and loss of life and property and the collective suffering that they have endured,

Praising the efforts made by the Government of Pakistan to reverse the negative impact of the recent disaster on people's daily lives,

  1. Urges the international community, particularly donor countries, international financial institutions and relevant international organizations, the private sector and civil society to extend their full support and assistance to the Government of Pakistan and to mitigate the adverse impact of the floods by taking swift measures such as writing off and/or rescheduling Pakistan’s debt, providing market access to revive Pakistan’s economy and investing in medium- and long-term rehabilitation and reconstruction projects;
  2. Appeals to international and regional parliamentary organizations, UN agencies and relevant regional and international organizations to redouble their efforts and develop programmes to heighten awareness of the damages caused by and potential risks of the flood in Pakistan and of the need for Pakistan to overcome this disaster;
  3. Underscores the importance of a rapid response by the international community, in particular the United Nations, to meet the needs of people affected by natural hazards that may become disasters, especially the people of Pakistan, who have sustained heavy losses as a result of the recent devastating floods, and urges all potential stakeholders to extend humanitarian aid to all those affected by such a disaster;
  4. Requests the relevant UN bodies to take into account the needs identified by the authorities of Pakistan and calls upon international financial institutions, in particular the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, and governments to further contribute to the efforts aimed at meeting the needs of the people in the flood-stricken areas of Pakistan, and encourages the Government of Pakistan to continue its own efforts to introduce the financial and economic reform required for successful reconstruction;
  5. Appeals to that the international community to respond rapidly and appropriately by contributing to the Pakistan Emergency Fund established by the United Nations and increasing the budget allocated to UNCERF, and calls upon donor countries to secure reliable and diverse donations for this Fund;
  6. Calls upon parliaments to urge their governments to prioritize compliance with international commitments such as the Kyoto Protocol and other agreements dealing with climate change;
  7. Also calls upon governments to provide adequate and accessible resources to UN agencies involved in funding and providing disaster assistance, and appeals to the IPU to support UN efforts in this area by developing a parliamentary programme on disaster-risk reduction that encompasses mitigation, prevention and preparedness;
  8. Encourages all governments to further coordinate their international relief, reconstruction and recovery activities, among themselves and with humanitarian agencies, and to take concrete action to enhance people's understanding of the need for disaster-risk reduction through public awareness, education and training;
  9. Calls upon parliaments to urge their governments - through their legislative and oversight roles - the United Nations and its specialized agencies and all relevant regional and international organizations to develop disaster-risk-reduction strategies, facilitate the exchange of relevant technology, establish early warning systems, and develop rapid response mechanisms, in particular under the Capacity for Disaster Reduction Initiative (CADRI) launched by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, UNDP and UNISDR;
  10. Appeals to the United Nations to hold an international conference on the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the flood-affected areas in Pakistan, on the understanding that one day of the proceedings will be devoted to an IPU-sponsored parliamentary meeting, and calls upon the UN Secretary-General to take the necessary action to that end;
  11. Issues an urgent call for all nations, acting within the framework of a strategy to manage unforeseen events, and in view of the need to ensure global security, to establish a global fund able to tackle unanticipated disasters and phenomena immediately, and urges the IPU to establish a committee to follow this important issue and to promote and monitor the creation of such a fund;
  12. Requests the IPU Secretary General to report on implementation of this resolution at the 124th IPU Assembly.

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