JAMIE TOMLINSON (Public Safety Canada): We're at the end of the Regional Platform 2017 in Montreal. We're ready to wrap up, but before we do, we're going to have a quick conversation with a couple of very important people over the last few days. I'm joined right now by Lori MacDonald, from Public Safety Canada, and Ricardo Mena, from the UNISDR Regional Office for the Americas. Thank you so much for joining us and spending a bit of time with us.
LORI MACDONALD (Assistant Deputy Minister, Emergency Management and Programs Branch, Public Safety Canada): Thank you, Jamie.
RICARDO MENA (Head, Regional Office for the Americas, United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction - UNISDR): Thank you. A pleasure.
JAMIE TOMLINSON: Mr. Mena, maybe I'll start with you, and as we reflect back on the last couple of days and the discussions, could you relate for us RP17 and the Sendai Framework?
RICARDO MENA: Well, this was the first time that the region met after the Global Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction adopted the Sendai Framework.
So it was a great occasion to have a great number of leaders from the entire region from the Americas to discuss about the implementation of the Sendai Framework and also to learn from each other what's working and what are the challenges so that they can emphasize on those aspects.
A great meeting, Canada has raised the bar quite high and we are very happy and thankful for Canada hosting this session, and with a great outcome as well.
I'm sure that Lori will discuss later on about the outcome of the conference.
But we are very pleased and we had here a group of representatives of governments, of civil society organizations, the private sector, the academic sector, indigenous organizations, women's organizations. So all the stakeholders dealing with disaster risk reduction in the Americas, the key leaders in this area, were in this session.
JAMIE TOMLINSON: Thank you. Lori, maybe to pick up on Mr. Mena's last point that the presence of key leaders. Of course, day three was highlighted by the meeting of ministers and high level authorities, and one of the key pieces of their discussions was the Regional Action Plan. Maybe you could tell us a little bit more about that?
LORI MACDONALD: Great. Thanks, Jamie. Yes, just to build on Ricardo's comments, we've actually been working on the action plan, talking about it for the past year from a meeting that we had last June actually in Paraguay when we started this conversation, we announced that Canada was going to host the Regional Platform here in Montreal this year.
And over the course of several months we've talked with a number of countries about how do we actually create a plan that would really help move forward the Sendai Framework from a Regional Action Plan perspective?
So over the course of the past couple of days, as Ricardo said, we've had many, many very encouraging, inspiring people here talking to us about everything from disaster risk reduction to environment and climate change, to the importance of women and children and youth with respect to disaster risk reduction...
...and really bringing all the countries together to talk about the things that we need to do globally as the Americas, as our individual countries to develop an action plan that really supports that Sendai Framework.
So we've worked hard, we've had long hours of conversation, we've taken into consideration a number of really key issues that are important to supporting, encouraging, facilitating countries to actually implement some of these key actions that will actually promote what we want to do, which is save lives, save livelihoods, reduce damages, keep people safe, and really make our world a safer place.
JAMIE TOMLINSON: Absolutely. Lori, you mentioned sort of the hard work and productive discussions.
LORI MACDONALD: Mm-hmm.
JAMIE TOMLINSON: I would be remiss if I let you both go without asking you to share your thoughts and what you'll take away from the last three days here in Montreal. Perhaps, Mr. Mena, we'll start with you.
RICARDO MENA: Yeah, well I think that we have now an action plan that of course sets the route where we need to be going in the next period until we have a new regional platform.
And, of course, one important aspect will be to monitor on the implementation of the action plan and being able to also report back on what has been achieved as we move on in this 2030 mark that the Sendai Framework has established. So I think that's one of the main takes out of the platform.
In addition to what I say, the excellent hospitality that Canada has shown in these past few days to all the delegates, setting the bar quite high.
JAMIE TOMLINSON: Thank you. Lori?
LORI MACDONALD: Yeah, I'll just say, you know, it's been such a pleasure to host this conference with respect to bringing so many experts together of all walks of life into this one arena who clearly have a passion for making a difference in our world.
And Canada is just so pleased to be able to be not only a host to that but to support those kinds of concepts going forward.
So as we work over the next couple of months to support not only the action plan but our colleagues in Mexico who are getting ready for the global platform, Canada will also play an important role in terms of supporting them.
And then as we move forward over the next two years to the next regional platform and the work, as Ricardo says, that we've done and will be doing with respect to the Regional Action Plan.
So the energy in the room, the conversation, the vibe, the true sense of wanting to make a difference -- it has been I think the forefront of this conference.
JAMIE TOMLINSON: Wonderful. Thank you both very much for your time. We very much appreciate it.
RICARDO MENA: Thank you.
JAMIE TOMLINSON: From RP17 in Montreal, I'm Jamie Tomlinson, Public Safety Canada.