Making communities in the Western Balkans more resilient

BFPE Office

27. November 2017

Making communities in the Western Balkans more resilient

Regional conference Investing in Resilience, organized by the United Nations Development Program in Serbia, the UNDP Regional Office in Istanbul, the Public Investment Management Office of the Government of the Republic of Serbia and the Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence, was held on November 23-24 in Belgrade. The conference brought together more than 20 speakers from the region and over 100 regional participants who tried to answer together, in 4 sessions, key issues related to further improving investment in the resilience of society, in order to reduce the cost of recovery after natural disasters.

Over two days of program, 4 panels dwelled into two issues.

On the first day, key issues were ways to improve investment in resilience in order to make society more resilient to natural disasters. The introductory speakers were the deputy of the permanent representative of the UNDP in the Republic of Serbia, Steliana Nedera, as well as the representatives of the state, Minister without portfolio in charge of Demography and Population Politics, Slavica Djukic Dejanovic and the Director of the Public Investment Management Office, Marko Blagojevic.

The focus of the first panel was on the connection of climate change, natural disasters and the necessity of developing capacities and resources that would reduce total damage caused by natural disasters when they occur, as well as the mechanisms that are foreseen to act in emergencies. It is pointed out the importance of spatial and other data in the development of these aspects, as well as the need to talk about the human aspect, which should not be omitted in the discussion of the consequences of disasters. Representatives of the state sector and experts from Serbia, as well as representatives from Montenegro and Turkey, had the opportunity to speak on the first panel.

The focus of the second panel was the financial aspect of investing in resistance that gave the experts the opportunity to discuss, through discussion with participants, questions that were based on the existing system of financing and how to improve it.

On the second day, the topic of the talks was resilient cities and communities. Through two panels, representatives of Serbia, both nationally and locally, had the opportunity to discuss, through a joint discussion with speakers from Croatia, Macedonia, Albania and Turkey, examples of good practice, as well as ways to improve in communities that are still not resistant. Speakers on two panels on the second day were Sandra Nedeljkovic, Deputy Director of the Public Investment Management Office of the Government of the Republic of Serbia, and Vladimir Cucić, Commissioner of the Commissariat for Refugees and Migration. The first panel gathered representatives from the local level, while the second panel reviewed ways of achieving resistance through assessing the required capacities, resources to develop and implement integrated policies and plans in mass migration situations.

The final speakers who had the opportunity to present the conclusions, remarks and messages sent during the conference were Ivan Bošnjak, State Secretary in the Ministry of State Administration and Local Self-Government, and Armen Grigoryan, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction Advisor from the Regional UNDP Center in Istanbul.