On 13 September 2023, the UNDRR-facilitated ARISE Private Sector Alliance for Disaster Resilient Societies convened the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of its membership in a fully virtual format. The event united and engaged a diverse community of 129 participants across multiple time zones. 23 ARISE networks participated, representing a wide spectrum of sectors, including banking, insurance, infrastructure, ICTs, tourism, consulting, science, and research, from enterprises both large and small. The agenda responded to the surveyed interests of members with diverse segments, such as keynote speakers, guest speakers, achievement highlights, and a special session on business resilience in the face of climate change and extreme weather events. Notably, representatives from ARISE networks in the Philippines, Japan, South Africa, India, the Caribbean, the Dominican Republic, Colombia, and Mexico shared their inspiring actions, adding a powerful dimension to the event.
ARISE members gained valuable insights from high-level speakers representing other UN entities and organizations, including the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI), and the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED).
Mami Mizutori, ARISE Co-Chair, the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General (SRSG) for Disaster Risk Reduction, and head of the UNDRR, set the stage for the 2023 ARISE Annual General Meeting. Reflecting on the past year, Mami noted significant developments, including the High-Level Meeting of the Midterm Review of the Sendai Framework held in New York. She applauded the private sector's robust involvement in this process, particularly emphasizing ARISE's leadership. At the heart of the AGM, the outcomes of the Midterm Review of the Sendai Framework for the private sector were presented, providing valuable insights and actionable recommendations.
In her keynote, Zoritsa Urosevic, Executive Director of the World Tourism Organization, emphasized the significant role of the private sector in disaster resilience. She stated, "The tourism sector, driven by enterprises, plays a crucial role in building resilience. Especially in these challenging times, we must leverage the potential of public-private partnerships. The engagement of the private sector is essential for adopting an integrated approach to construct disaster-resilient societies and communities."
The event provided a platform for collaborative learning, facilitating the exchange of innovative practices and forming meaningful partnerships. It highlighted the dedication and expertise of ARISE members, whose combined efforts are actively contributing to the creation of a more resilient future for communities around the world. One notable example shared is the 'Adopt-a-City Program' in the Philippines, which builds city resilience through effective Public-Private-People Partnerships.
The special session on 'Ensuring business resilience to adapt to climate change and extreme weather events,' held for both eastern and western participants, featured speakers Tatsuya Kimura, Director, Public-Private Engagement, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), Tom Mitchell, Executive Director International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), and Terry Kinyua, Country Manager, Invest in Africa (IIA) Kenya, ARISE Africa. The session also included breakout groups on understanding insurance options for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), green bonds and financial innovation for climate resilience, gender-inclusive climate resilience strategies, and the private sector's role in connecting early warnings to actionable steps. Additionally, there was a plenary session, and targeted presentations from six ARISE networks from Japan, India, the Philippines, Mexico, Canada and the United States of America. Invited speakers and thought leaders from across the globe shared their expertise, emphasizing the importance of risk-informed investments and the integration of disaster risk reduction in various sectors.
The new 2023-2026 board members were also welcomed and recognized for their commitment to driving greater private-sector engagement and tangible progress in disaster resilience.
ARISE AGM participants called to:
- Strengthen existing partnerships and create new partnerships where needed for private sector participation in risk governance.
- Collaborate with academia, governments, and different sectors to create synergies, promote and implement on-the-ground action.
- Recognize the importance of sharing impact stories and reporting on actions to inspire others.
ARISE, the Private Sector Alliance for Disaster Resilient Societies, is a key mechanism to accelerate Sendai Framework implementation, uniting private sector entities to champion and share risk-informed practices to inspire others. With a focus on SMEs, resilient infrastructure, strategic investments, and innovative insurance solutions, ARISE will continue working on building disaster-resilient societies.