OAS

DECISION 591
Andean Strategy for Disaster Prevention and Relief

THE ANDEAN COUNCIL OF MINISTERS OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS,

HAVING REVIEWED: Articles 3, Second Item d), 16, 17 and 128 of the Cartagena Agreement, coded through Decision 563, Article 6, Items f), i) and o) of the Regulations of the Andean Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs, coded through Decision 407; and,

WHEREAS: The Cartagena Agreement sets forth that to promote the balanced and harmonic development of the Member Countries under conditions of equality, through integration and economic and social cooperation, and to pursue a persistent improvement of the standard of living of the people of the Subregion, actions will be applied, among other measures, to ensure the preservation and exploitation of natural resources and the environment;

The Andean Subregion, as a territory with similar physical and geographical conditions, has high risk characteristics when facing phenomena such as floods, draughts, landsliding, earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic activity, fires, epidemics, tropical storms and adverse technological and anthropic events;

In the Subregion, such disasters have serious effects on the population, causing damages to their health and directly impacting on the physical infrastructure of sectors such as education, housing, human settlements, roads, farm production and public utilities, aspects with a high priority in the community’s agenda;

Disaster prevention and relief is an important factor for the improvement of competitiveness inasmuch as it allows the offering of a greater sense of security for investments and the functioning of basic infrastructure for the production and sale of goods and services, in case of any eventual disasters which may occur;

Disasters are a growing world problem, which has caused the mobilization of the international community to adopt policies to promote their prevention and relief as a form of global challenge. In this context, within the framework of the United Nations General Assembly in the year 2000, a Disaster Relief International Strategy was adopted;

Such disasters have been accentuated due to internal factors, such as environmental damages, which could be aggravated by global climate changes. These factors have been covered as a world challenge by the Framework Convention of the United Nations on Climate Changes, as well as by the World Environmental Summit of Johannesburg;

To implement a system for the cooperation and joint action of the Member Countries of the Andean Community, in an effort to prevent and relieve natural and anthropic effects, the Andean Committee for Disaster Prevention and Relief (CAPRADE) was created, by means of Decision 529;

CAPRADE recommended the Andean Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs to adopt an Andean Strategy for Disaster Prevention and Relief;

This Strategy is the result of the hard work performed in the Subregion, with the participation of 280 entities and over 450 national technicians, in work meetings and specialized discussions, in a process which has been carried out in each Member Country by the entities responsible for disaster prevention, planning, civil defense and the Foreign Affairs Ministries;

The support of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) has been significant in the process of consultation and preparation of the Strategy in each Member Country through the Regional Strategy for Disaster Reduction. Likewise, other international organizations have accompanied this process, presenting their own developments on the matter, in CAPRADE meetings;

Moreover, to achieve the Strategy, a very important factor has been the participation of the Andean Development Corporation (CAF), through the Andean Risk Prevention and Mitigation Program, PREANDINO;

It is recognized that subregional cooperation has great potential for overcoming risks, therefore, the national institutions and policies for disaster prevention and relief should be modernized and strengthened;

The Member Countries see the adoption of common external policies as a decisive mechanism of influence on international decision organizations and forums to make sure and incorporate in their agendas the Subregion’s interests on matters of prevention;

The General Secretariat presented Proposal 132/Rev. 1, for the consideration of the Andean Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs;

DECIDES:

Article 1.- To approve the Andean Strategy for Disaster Prevention and Relief contained in the document enclosed with this Decision.

Article 2.- The Andean Committee for Disaster Prevention and Relief, CAPRADE, will work on the execution of the Andean Strategy for Disaster Prevention and Relief, in all areas defined in the enclosed document, requiring conceptual, methodological or technical development, as well as the incorporation of other aspects considered essential to achieve the proposed objectives.

Article 3.- To ask CAPRADE to prepare an Action Plan and the Portfolio of Projects deriving from the programs and subprograms identified, which will ensure the execution of the Andean Strategy for Disaster Prevention and Relief.

Article 4.- To ask CAPRADE to report on an annual basis to the Andean Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs, through the Andean Community’s General Secretariat, on the progress made on the execution of the Andean Strategy for Disaster Prevention and Relief and the development of the Action Plan and of the Programs and Subprograms. The first annual report will be submitted at the meeting of the Andean Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs prior to the 16th Regular Meeting of the Andean Presidential Council.

Given in the city of Quito, Republic of Ecuador, on July 10, 2004