4th meeting - 2018 High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (2018 HLPF)


My name is Marikris de Guzman. I am from the ASEAN Youth Network for Disaster Risk Reduction in Philippines. I am speaking on behalf of the UN Major Group for Children and Youth. Philippines is continuously among the top three disaster prone countries in the world. We have been extremely active in and central to the adoption, implementation and monitoring of the Sendai Framework. I arrived yesterday from the Asian Ministerial Conference on DRR in Mongolia. Over thirty young people from the region participated, sharing trends, challenges, experiences and their solutions for DRR.

The outcome of the Asian Ministerial Conference on DRR is the Ulaanbaatar Declaration, and it includes our main point - the importance of people-centered policy. The theme of this HLPF is testament to the political success and growing recognition of resilience as central to the 2030 Agenda. We very much welcome this. We hope that the discussions here at the HLPF further enshrine this central role of resilience in implementing the 2030 Agenda by concretely shaping national action plans. Resilience can no longer fall between the wedges in the development and humanitarian agendas.

In the end, it is a concept about the capacity of people and communities to deal with whatever challenges we are facing.


The resilience of communities depends on the states’ ability to ensure human security.


But a resilient society is first and foremost made up of resilient individuals: Where everyone feels empowered and included; where neighbours check on neighbours.

Building resilience in people has to start at a young age. And this is why we need to invest in the empowerment and participation of young people and in the capacity of youth organizations. In order to make sure that no one is left behind it is thereby important to move beyond the relatively narrow focus of resilient infrastructure and high-tech solutions, but first and foremost invest in enhancing community level DRR knowledge, inclusive DRR governance, mainstreaming resilience in social services.

Finally, in order to make sure we do not leave anyone behind, we need to recognise the broad scope of disasters that affect all people. Focusing not only on natural disasters but including human induced fragility, especially in conflict settings, and comprehensively addressing their underlying risk factors.


If not, we will in 2030 have left behind many people who need us.

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