The progress made in realizing the outcomes, goals and targets of the Sendai Framework and other 2015 agreements, conventions and frameworks in the first years following their adoption was encouraging. Despite the enormous challenges to implementation, collective efforts were imbued with the same positivity and optimism that infused the environment in which these agreements were adopted.
In the Sendai Framework, United Nations Member States crafted a universal vision of how societies might collaborate to identify, prevent and reduce risks before they manifest as shocks or disasters, to build resilience and thereby navigate risk-informed and sustainable pathways leading up to 2030 and beyond. The Sendai Framework is a remarkable agreement. It now serves as the connecting tissue between all global agendas, with ramifications for every aspect of the interactions of humans with each other, and the natural environment.
However, at the midpoint of the implementation of the 2015 agreements, progress has stalled and, in some cases, reversed. This has resulted not only from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, but also from short- versus long-termism, weakened multilateralism, disconnects between the real and the financial economies, rising inequality, and barriers between risk science, perception and risk-informed decision-making. Risks are being created and accumulating faster than our ability to anticipate, manage and reduce them, and when those risks are realized as shocks or disasters, they bring increasingly dire consequences for people, livelihoods, society and the ecosystems on which we depend.
The Midterm Review of the Implementation of the Sendai Framework 2015-2030 (MTR SF) therefore comes at a critical moment. This report summarizes the learning and recommendations of an extensive review by States and stakeholders pursuing the expected outcome and goal of the Framework and thus risk-informed sustainable development.
The MTR SF presents an opportunity for States and stakeholders to review, course-correct and, as the Secretary-General said, upgrade “our toolbox, norms, and approaches” so that frameworks for global cooperation can mirror evolving issues rather than become “zero-sum and polarizing.” As one of several midpoint stocktaking and review exercises, the findings and recommendations of the MTR SF are central to informing actions that support numerous global agreements and reviews, including those related to sustainable development, financing for development, climate, biodiversity, water, energy and food.