United Nations

ISDR - International Strategy for Disaster Reduction

ISDR aims at the creation of communities able to cope with disasters by promoting the importance of disaster reduction as a crucial element of sustainable development. The ultimate goal is the creation of a “preventive culture” through actions and programs.

ISDR is based on the cooperation of a broad spectrum of action takers, all of whom have an important role to play in the effort made by the communities and the member states for the achievement of the Disaster Risk Reduction (DDR). Among the participating action takers, there are governments, trans-national and non-governmental organizations, scientific and technical groups as well as the private sector.

For this purpose, ISDR supports through its Secretariat, the countries and communities in the implementation of the Plan of Principles formulated in the 2nd Hyogo Framework of Action in order that a more systematic and complete international effort of Disaster Risk Reduction be achieved.

The General Secretariat for Civil Protection (GSCP), as an appointed contact point for the promotion of the Hyogo Framework of Action, is keeping an eye on the agenda of the ISDR, especially as far as the relevant efforts made in Europe are concerned.

Recently, the issue of the coordinated action of the National Platforms and National Contact Points has led to the creation of the “European Forum on Disaster Risk Reduction” (EFDRR) in a regional level. This particular forum comprises an open area of information and know-how exchange as well as of efforts’ coordination aiming at the effective action for DRR in Europe.




Hyogo Framework for Action (2005-2015)

The number and extent of negative effects caused by natural disasters globally in the past years, have made all the more urgent the need for an effective disaster management and response but, mainly, for the reduction of the risk of causing negative effects from the occurrence of a disastrous natural phenomenon. The tsunami that afflicted in December, 2004 the Indian Ocean and cost the lives of more than 250.000 people accelerated the procedures for action to be taken at a global level aiming at the formulation of a disaster response policy.

In January 2005, one month after this tragic event took place, the 2nd Global Conference on Disaster Reduction was organised in Kobe, Japan. The negotiations led to the formulation of an Action Plan (Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015) aiming at the substantial decrease of losses at a social, financial level as well as of the environmental damages caused at a local and national level. 168 states, Greece included, decided to take up, within the framework of their abilities, the actions needed for the success of this Plan.

The major priorities set are:

  • Assurance of decrease in disaster risk at a national and local level
  • Identification, monitoring of possible risks and early warning
  • Use of the knowledge and training for the development of the disaster risk management culture
  • Detection of the agents that could be potential threats for a disaster’s occurence
  • Intensification of disaster preparation and response

Hyogo Framework: http://www.preventionweb.net/english/hyogo/




The General Secretariat for Civil Protection (GSCP) is cooperating with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN/OCHA) to integrate the Hellenic Rescue Team (EMAK) within the powers of the UN and the Joint Hellenic Turkish Standby Disaster Response Unit, (JHET-SDRU). The GSCP, in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is the competent agency for the development of these modules in cases of international assistance offer upon the occurrence of disasters.

A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed among the United Nations (United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs - UN/OCHA), the Government of the Hellenic Republic and the Government of the Turkish Republic on the collaboration in the field of humanitarian emergency response (the Memorandum was ratified by Law 3449/ 2006). The Memorandum comprises the umbrella under which the Joint Hellenic Turkish Standby Disaster Response Unit (JHET-SDRU) is operating. The latter was founded after the response of the Greek side to the call for humanitarian assistance made by Turkey in the wake of the earthquake of 1999. It was later on, on November 22, 1999, that JHET – SDRU was mentioned for the first time during a resolution submitted by the United Nations General Assembly. On September 16, 2002, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Greece and Turkey at that time signed the Memorandum of Understanding among the United Nations, Greece and Turkey on the collaboration in the field of humanitarian emergency response.

The collaboration defined by JHET-SDRU between Greece and Turkey concerns the fields of search and rescue (SAR) in certain cases of natural disasters: earthquakes, floods and landslides. Various meetings of the Coordinating Committee concerning functional and operational issues of JHET-SDRU have been held so far as well as two field exercises. The first joint exercise of Greek and Turkish rescue teams on the rescuing of victims from collapsed buildings took place in Vari, Attica (14-12-2010).

Στιγμιότυπο από το σεμινάριο της Ελληνο-Τουρκικής Εφεδρικής Μονάδας
Αντιμετώπισης Καταστροφών που πραγματοποιήθηκε στην Αθήνα το 2007.