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Annual Thematic Meeting of the Platform on Disaster Displacement – Proceedings Report

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh, as the Chair of the Platform on Disaster Displacement (PDD), convened an Annual Thematic Meeting of the Platform on Disaster Displacement – ‘Striving together for addressing displacement due to slow and sudden onset disasters’, on 24 February 2019 in Dhaka, Bangladesh. More than 150 participants, including representatives from PDD’s Steering Group, from regional and international organizations, United Nations (UN) agencies, civil society and academia, gathered at the occasion.

The meeting was graced with the presence of Hon’ble Foreign Minister H.E. Dr. A.K. Abdul Momen, Member of Parliament (MP) as the Chief Guest; Mr. Md. Nojibur Rahman, Principal Secretary to the Hon’ble Prime Minister as the Guest of Honour; Mr. Md. Shah Kamal, Senior Secretary, Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief as the Special Guest. Hon’ble State Minister for Foreign Affairs H.E. Mr. Shahriar Alam, MP and Hon’ble State Minister for Disaster Management and Relief H.E. Dr. Md. Enamur Rahman, MP were present during the closing ceremony. The meeting was chaired by H.E. Md. Shahidul Haque, Foreign Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The meeting had the objectives to:

a. analyze the effects of sudden-onset events like tropical cyclone, tidal bore, tsunami, earthquake, volcanic eruption, landslide etc. on human mobility and the ways and means of further enhancing preventive, adaptive and mitigation policies related to such mobility for better protection of displaced persons or persons at risk of displacement.

b. analyze the effects of slow-onset events like sea level rise, river erosion, flood, drought etc. on human mobility and the ways and means of further enhancing living conditions of displaced persons by ensuring preventive, adaptive and mitigation policies related to such mobility.

c. examine how sudden and slow onset events are interrelated and at times not fully distinguishable from each other, and thus the needs of identical and different approaches for different types of natural events and subsequent human mobility, to ensure better protection for displaced population and persons at risk of displacement.

The meeting concluded with a presentation of the Chair’s Summary, by H.E. Shahidul Haque. As PDD is entering its nextphase, the strategic priorities for 2019-2022 will build on achievements made so far by PDD and the Nansen Initiative, in collaboration with its partners. DRR, migration and refugee policy and climate change action will be the main focus, in particular at the regional level, where PDD will be supporting the implementation of global commitments. Bangladesh will pass on the chairmanship to France in July 2019, but will continue to remain committed to PDD and take forward the work at the regional level.

The Annual Thematic Meeting was preceded by a civil society meeting convened by the Coastal Association for Social Transformation Trust (COAST) Bangladesh on 23 February 2019, gathering representatives of Bangladesh’s civil society and representatives from research communities and Universities and the participants in the PDD meeting. Sunday 24 February 2019 was the main day of the Annual Meeting, followed by a field trip to Shariatpur on Monday 25 February.

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