New Delhi (NVI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said that many infrastructure systems cover the entire world and the effect of a disaster in one part can quickly spread across the globe and cooperation is a must for ensuring the resilience of the global systems.
The Prime Minister was addressing the opening ceremony of the International Conference on Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (ICDRI) which was also attended by Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom, Fiji and Italy.
He said countries that are making large investments in infrastructure, such as India, must ensure that this is an investment in resilience and not in risk.
Terming the current situation unprecedented, the Prime Minister said, “We are witnessing an event that is being termed a once-in-a-hundred-year disaster. COVID-19 pandemic has taught us that in an interdependent and interconnected world, country-rich or poor, in the east or west, north or south- is not immune to the effect of global disasters.”
He called for fostering a global ecosystem that supports innovation in all parts of the world, and its transfer to places that are most in need. The year 2021 promises to be a year of swift recovery from the pandemic, he hoped.
The Prime Minister cautioned that the lessons from the pandemic must not be forgotten. They apply to not only public health disasters but other disasters as well.
He also said that it will take sustained and concerted efforts to mitigate climate change.
“Many infrastructure systems- digital infrastructure, shipping lines, aviation networks- cover the entire world and the effect of disaster in one part of the world can quickly spread across the world. Cooperation is a must for ensuring the resilience of the global system,” he noted.
While pointing out that year 2021 is a particularly important year, he said, “We are approaching the mid-point of the Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris agreement, and the Sendai Framework.”
“The expectations from COP-26, to be hosted by the UK and Italy later this year, are high. This partnership on resilient infrastructure must play its important role in helping meet some of those expectations,” he added.
Underlining the key priority areas going forward, Modi said the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) must embody the central promise of the Sustainable Development Goals, that is, “leave no one behind”.
“This means that we have to put the concerns of the most vulnerable nations and communities first,” he said.
Modi also called for taking stock of the performance of some of the key infrastructure sectors, particularly health and digital infrastructures, that played a central role during the pandemic.
“In our quest for resilience, no technological system should be considered too basic or too advanced. The CDRI must maximize the demonstration effect of the application of technology,” he said.
“Finally, the notion of resilient infrastructure must become a mass movement galvanising the energies of not just the experts, and formal institutions,” the Prime Minister concluded.
Participants from national governments, experts from international organisations, academic institutions, and the private sector also participated in the conference.
The International Conference on Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (ICDRI 2021) is an interactive virtual conference that follows International Workshops on Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (IWDRI) held in 2018 and 2019.
It is an annual international conference of the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) to strengthen the global discourse on disaster and climate resilient infrastructure.