New Delhi: The Asian region is especially vulnerable to disasters, both natural and man-made, which are occurring with increased frequency and intensity, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said on Thursday.
Addressing the Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR) in Delhi, Singh said eight of the ten disasters in the world occur in Asia, making two-thirds of the world's population vulnerable.
"Disasters, both natural and man-made are occurring with increased frequency and intensity," he said.
The Home Minister said India believes that disaster resilience is the collective responsibility of all segments of society, including governments, business community, non-governmental sector and individuals.
"If we all work together with a united focus and a shared sense of responsibility to improve disaster resilience, we will be far more effective than the individual efforts of any one sector. This is, therefore, a timely and important conference, a critical first step in implementing the Sendai framework in our region," he said.
Singh said disaster risk recognises no political boundaries and this includes risks caused by human actions: disasters in one region can, and will, impact other regions.
"It is, therefore, also satisfying that today we realize that both disaster risk reduction, and disaster relief need to be supported through bilateral, regional and international cooperation, including partnerships," he said.
Singh said it is with this spirit of regional and international cooperation that India has supported, and is always ready to support, other countries, specially its neighbours, in disaster mitigation and management efforts.
"We offer the best we have in terms of technology, capacity building and relief expertise to all those in need.
We are uncompromisingly committed to regional and international cooperation in this regard," he said.
In his welcome address, Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju said in the last few decades Asia-Pacific region has experienced exponential increase in disasters.
"These have often hampered the achievement of development goals. The harshest impact is often on the most vulnerable and marginalised people. The impact of natural disasters has been growing rapidly due to global population growth, urbanization and increased socio-economic activity with a tenfold increase in losses from disasters since the 1970s," he said.