While the globe is facing challenging times and rapid changes due to disasters and the need to create risk-resilient societies is inevitable, the United Arab Emirates is leading the private sector engagement for disaster risk reduction by announcing the first ARISE initiative in the Arab region to achieve the outcomes and goals of the Sendai Framework in a transparent and inclusive way that delivers measurable impact.
This initiative is in conjunction with the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) that works towards a resilient, prosperous future where fewer lives are lost to disasters, capital assets and investments are risk-informed, and infrastructure is resilient to natural and man-made hazards and advocates for risk-informed development by encouraging and supporting the private and public sectors to put in place policies and practices to reduce disaster risk and losses.
The UAE Private Sector Alliance for Disaster Resilient Societies (ARISE) kicked off yesterday with its first meeting at Burj Khalifa led by Mr. Sujit Mohanty the Chief of UNDRR Regional Office for the Arab States (ROAS), Dr. Mahmoud Al Burai the Vice President of International Real Estate Federation and Senior Advisor in Dubai Government, along with the United Nations Resident Coordinator for the UAE Dr. Dena Assaf and other senior officials from UNDRR.
The meeting was attended by Dr. Tariq Ahmed Nizami, Founder & CEO of CEO Clubs Network, Dr. Assad Farah, Dean School of Business Administration at American University in Dubai, James Mathew CEO & Managing Partner, UHY James Chartered Accountants, Helen Chen CEO and Co-founder of Nomad Homes, Chris Roberts, CEO of Eltizam Asset Management Group, Mohammed Alsharaf, COO of Eltizam Asset Management Group, Mr. Fadi Nwilati, CEO of KAIZEN Asset Management, Mr. Ghassan Farouk Afiouni Managing Partner and Inventor MPI, Mr. Ahmed Riad, Managing Director Estmrarya Consulting, Dr. Raza Siddiqui, CEO Arabian Health Group and Zeina Abou Chaaban the Managing Partner of Palestyle.
“Today we are witnessing a remarkable movement convened by the UAE private sector to establish the first national ARISE in the Arab region and set the roadmap for other Arab countries. COVID19 has put a stark reminder to all of us that reducing risk of disasters whether natural, man-made or biological, has to be everyone’s business. This initiative will capitalize on the UAE private sector to promote risk-informed investments and to engage in business practices that build resilience and prevent new risks from being created” said Mr. Mohanty, Chief of UNDRR ROAS.
Dr. Mahmoud Burai said: “This initiative showcases the UAE leadership in founding a strong platform for the private sector to support and implement the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015 – 2030 and its commitment towards 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Paris Climate Agreement, New Urban Agenda and Agenda for Humanity. UAE ARISE will work closely with Dubai Police who is leading on Dubai Resilient and other local and federal governments to create risk-resilient societies by energizing the private sector in collaboration with the public sector and other stakeholders to achieve the outcomes and goals of the Sendai Framework in a transparent and inclusive way that delivers measurable impact.”
The United Nations Resident Coordinator for the UAE Dr. Dena Assaf said: “The United Nations has been working for the last 75 years around many global challenges, bringing awareness and progress across the planet and the UAE has always been a bastion of hope and resolve in the region. The UAE private sector’s role and engagement in disaster risk reduction not only ensures a more resilient and prepared society, but also enables accelerated progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals”. Dr. Dena Assaf encouraged the members to contribute to the UN global conversation on the World We Want, and take the survey at www.UN75.online.
The first meeting agenda unfolded the UAE ARISE objectives, structure, voluntary action commitments and the workplan 2020-2021, while the board election announced HE Dr. Mahmoud Al Burai the Chair of the UAE ARISE, Co- Chair, Mr. Ahmed Riad and the Vice Chair, Dr. Tariq Nizami.
The ARISE members agreed that by combining the intellectual capital assets of the private sector with the public sector, academia and other stakeholders' knowledge, outreach and resources, solutions such as operational, communication, policy, investment, risk management and technical solutions, the UAE ARISE aims to contribute to attainment of the Targets of the Sendai Framework by 2030. Also, UAE ARISE members committed to engage in capacity development, education, and participation in the development of required policies, standards, tools and regulations through the private sector expertise and innovation to reduce disaster risks at the national and local level.
The UAE National ARISE will be officially launched at the Fifth Arab Partnership Meeting for Disaster Risk Reduction scheduled in November 2020.