Youth Participation at the Africa-Arab Regional Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction


Thanks for joining us for our latest chat. Today our CFP for Libya has offered to talk about the participation of youth in decision-making at the Africa-Arab Regional Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction 2018.

Hello everone, I am Mohamed EDABBAR, Regional Focal Point (MENA) at United Nations Major Group for Children & Youth, (Communities & sustainable cities) Habitat III Working Group. In UN MGCY we have four main tasks 1) Policy and Advocacy. 2) capacity building. 3) knowledge. 4) Youth Action.

The Africa-Arab Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction met from 9 to 13 October 2018, in Tunis, Tunisia. The forum was regional for all Arab and African countries. There was a strong youth presence from Lebanon, Yemen, Sierra Leone, Kenya, the Gambia, Uganda and Ghana.


Can you clarify what you mean by Disaster Risk Reduction?

Disaster risk reduction is a systematic approach to identifying, assessing and reducing the risks of disaster, divided into two main types – Natural and Human. Currently UN Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) is working on this approach within the framework of the Sendai Framework (2015-2030)


Can you give us an example of a disaster and how you reduce the risk on it?

Floods are natural disasters. There are many agencies/organizations that have designed a manual to deal with floods, but in developing countries there is insufficient infrastructure.


We talked about the refugee crisis in Sudan last week. Does this come under disaster risk reduction?

Whilst I had a side event with the International Organisation for Migration at AFARP2018 on DRR, the appropriate event for Migration and Refugee is the International Conference of Global Compact for Migration which will take place next December in Marrakech, Morocco

In addition to the side events we organised we also participated in the Arab and African statement. I was the only young person who participated in attending both sessions for a Voluntary Action Statement (Africa & Arab) I suggest you read this detailed report from the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD –   ) on our participation


Is it possible to give an example of one of your statements from the forum, and in your opinion what concrete actions will come out of the statement?

Take a look at the statement from Arab  and the statement from African children and youth stakeholders:


One of the statements reads ‘We call on the Africa Union to establish a robust, open, transparent, and inclusive Youth Advisory Board that shall work with member states to ensure accountability. This board should be adequately resourced to enhance active participation in all processes related to successful implementation of the Sendai Framework for DRR and the PoA. We therefore commit to playing an active role on the official mechanisms in all aspects of DRR planning and processes.’

How can we ensure the African Union will implement this? Could it be the case that whilst the African Union will TRY to implement this, the individual states may not ratify it, as the case with the Youth Charter? Many countries are still to ratify it. I’m trying to see if it is possible to have cross-continental compliance as Disaster Risk Reduction crosses national boundaries.

In my view, it is enough for the AU to ratify it. I am following up with the AU ECOSOC mission. We will keep the pressure up and will keep you updated. Please remind me from time to time


Thanks for your time – its been great to hear from you.

It is always a pleasure. Thanks to all of you

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