Statement of Mr. Monwar Hossain, the Deputy Permanent, Representative of Bangladesh to the UN at the Side event entitled “Empowering women in early warnings and early action to reduce disaster risk” on the margins of the 66th session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW66), Wednesday, 23 March 2022.

I thank you, Madam Moderator, for giving me the floor.

At the outset, I thank colleagues from the UNDRR, WMO, IFRC and the Permanent Mission of Finland for organizing this timely event. The event coincides with the observance of the World Meteorological Day, which aims to reduce disaster risks by focusing on early warning systems. We need to leverage this momentum by involving women in the early warning system of disaster response mechanisms to ensure their empowerment and equality.

Many of the LDCs are low-lying coastal states and SIDS and they have been bearing the greatest brunt of climate change. Women and girls living in these countries suffer disproportionately more from such calamities. A study reveals that 80% of the people displaced by climate disasters are women and girls.

To tackle such challenges, Bangladesh has been prioritizing women the DRR plans and strategies and has ensured gender equality in this sector. Our Cyclone Preparedness Programme (CPP) is a good example of inclusion of women in disaster response mechanism where 38,000 women are working as volunteers. UN has recognized the programme with prestigious UN Public Service Award. Besides, the Gender-responsive Coastal Adaptation Project and National Resilience Programme are trying to enhance adaptive capacities of climate affected people, particularly the women and girls. We are ready to share such good practices with other LDCs and vulnerable countries.

Excellencies, distinguished colleagues,

I had the opportunity to Co-Chair the preparatory process of the LDC5 conference which culminated in the adoption of the Doha Programme of Action DPoA, a 10 year compact between the LDCs and their development partners. One of the six key focus areas of DPoA aims to invest in gender-responsive prevention and risk reduction as has been recommended in the Sendai Framework. However, implementation of the programme will depend on global solidarity and stepped up investments.

Allow me to share a few specific thoughts in this regard:

First, as women appear to be the earliest responders to disasters, they are best placed to devise and drive policies and responses in this regard. Therefore, we need to ensure their inclusion, meaningful participation and leadership in early warning and response mechanisms.

Second, protection of women’s and girls’ rights against systemic discrimination and gender-based violence prior and after the disasters needs to be ensured. It will ensure their participation in the preventive activities more.

Third, enhanced climate financing for mitigation and adaptation purposes is critical for engaging women and girls in the early warning and response mechanisms. Developed countries must fulfill their financing pledges made during the COP-26 for achieving this outcome.

Finally, transfer of appropriate technologies can facilitate the inclusion of women and girls in the disaster response mechanisms of the coastal LDCs and SIDs. The role of north-south and triangular cooperation is critical in this regard.

I thank you all.