4 Strengthening disaster laws
Proposed Evaluation Criteria :
Pledge text :
The Government of Rwanda and the Rwanda Red Cross recognize the importance of the legal instrument applied to the international actions in case of disaster. This is understandable in this period whereby the number of disasters constantly increases, with the most serious consequences. We still have in memory what happened in Haiti with the earthquake in 2010, the tsunami, earthquake and the nuclear accident that hit Japan and very recently earthquake in Turkey...
We recognize therefore that the legal obstacles can lead to a non coordinated and inefficient assistance. These legal problems delay the speed of assistance intended for the community affected by disaster.
Nevertheless, we recognize that some situations of disasters namely the drought sometimes escapes the attention of providers of the humanitarian services. That is why, we appeal for the vigilance of our respective states in case of all disasters whatever the degree of amplitude, the first responsibility belongs to the state affected by the disaster. We should first take into consideration the mobilization of local resources because they are the ones that are obviously available to community victims of disasters.
Meanwhile, we think that the idea of regional or sub reional cooperation should be reinforced if we are to help mutually and to respond quickly to disasters. Rwanda is part of Big Communities of regional and sub regional socio-economic development. For example, we are part of East-Africa Community which comprises of 5 States namely Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi. In the policy of the East African Community, we have facilities and opportunities that can help State members and the respective National Societies to cooperate and or to help each other in the scope of assistance to victims affected by the disaster in one or another State member of the Community.
We are delighted that this International conference also has a look on the reflection of legal framework concerning the reduction of disaster risks.
Actually, we should be concerned about the reduction of risk because we cannot wait till disasters take away human lives and destroy, yet there are certain possibilities to decrease their impact. In fact, it is necessary that every State commits itself to put in place mechanisms, policies that can influence the concrete actions of reduction of disaster risks.
Rwanda has out in place the policy and the organic law of protection and conservation of the environment. An Institution in charge of coordination and harmonization of Policies and the sector-based actions in this domain has been put in place. The results in this domain of protection and conservation of the environment speak for themselves. A meaningful increase of reforestation activities has been obvious, the rehabilitation of big natural forests, which were about to be extinct, the rational exploitation of swamps and soil, the retention of soils by making radical terraces, the prohibition of using plastic items, the protection of lakes and rivers...
However, if we want to decrease some disasters risks namely floods, landslides, the drought we cannot succeed without taking into account problems of the environment.
In relation to the resolution regarding the legal context tackling disasters,
Rwandan Government and Rwandan Red Cross are committed to take into consideration the guidelines related to the facilitation and the national regulation of the international rescue operations and assistance to the initial restoration in case of disaster in our policies and laws in disaster management which are being reviewed.
In order to facilitate the international humanitarian operations, the Government of Rwanda and the Rwandan Red Cross put forward the following considerations:
States and National Societies, Red Cross and Red Crescent should reinforce their capacities of disaster management whatever their amplitude. The state-controlled Institutions in charge of disaster management should develop mechanisms and/or instruments of disaster coordination and mobilization of local or external resources in order to assist communities affected by the disaster.
Before the external assistance arrives, the state affected by the disaster should be first of all responsible for its situation. It can mobilize the assistance locally in order to answer to the urgent needs of community victims of disasters.
The Government of Rwanda is firmly committed to the regional and sub regional initiative of mutual assistance in case of disaster susceptible to affect one or another country member of the community to which Rwanda belongs.
Gov - Rwanda
NS - Rwanda