United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development


Intervention by Hiroshi Minami, Deputy Director General for Global Issues of the Foreign Ministry of Japan, at the seventh session of the SDGs-OWG on Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction

Climate change is one of the most important areas of sustainable development, and I believe that SDGs should address the issue of climate change. Climate change is a serious threat to the humanity, development and poverty eradication. However, as we all know, there is another track of the negotiation for climate change, different from the NY process, and we have to work hard for a good outcome at COP 21 in December 2015. SDGs and post 2015 development agenda will be decided in September 2015. We have to be mindful of the difference of the timelines of the two tracks, and we should not prejudge the outcome of COP21 in the formulation of SDGs. Nor should we have a parallel discussion with UNFCCC. The climate change negotiation is a fragile process and I believe that the work of the SDGs should not intervene the climate change process. Climate change is an issue which is related to many areas such as energy, water, food, cities and global partnership. Rather, we should mainstream climate change in the associated thematic goals.

Disaster risk reduction is an important area as well. This issue is also related to climate change as we have been seeing extreme weathers, which may have been caused by climate change.
Natural disasters are a fundamental threat to sustainable development and poverty eradication. 90 percent of the victims of natural disasters are from developing countries, and natural disasters are so devastating that they deprive of the fruit of the development instantaneously, and they impoverish the people who have come out of the poverty. Also, in natural disasters, the most vulnerable people are severely affected. We believe that DRR should be clearly positioned in SDGs. DRR and resilience of the society are related to many themes, such as poverty eradication, gender, governance, water, cities and peace and security. I believe that DRR and resilience should be embedded in these thematic issues.
The practical challenges for DRR are how to collect statistical data in developing countries, and how to establish measurable target for DRR.
In addition, in March 2015, Japan will host the third world conference on DRR and we expect that the conference will agree upon the post 2015 framework on DRR, which is a successor of Hygo Framework of Action. The SDGs and post 2015 development agenda should be consistent with the outcome of the third world conference on DRR.