GoI signs Headquarters Agreement with CDRI

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    In Context

    • Recently, the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) and the Government of India (GoI) signed a Headquarters Agreement.

    About

    • The agreement will enable the status of an ‘Independent and International Legal Entity’ for CDRI.
    • The agreement will enable the institution to pursue functions internationally with all rights, immunities, and privileges, as per the United Nations (Privileges & Immunities) Act, 1947.
    • India enacted UN (Privileges & Immunities) Act, 1947 to give effect to Convention on Privileges and Immunities of United Nations, adopted by UN General Assembly in 1946.
      • United Nations brought with it certain immunities and privileges that were considered necessary for it to function freely and to be able to be authoritative when deemed necessary.
      • The purpose of immunities is to protect the UN from exceeding their jurisdiction of interference and litigation.
    • How has the UN (Privileges & Immunities) Act, 1947 benefitted India?
      • The United Nations and its principal organs have offices in India that ensure its smooth functioning
      • Those Indian offices are considered parts of the United Nations and are provided with privileges and immunities under the Indian Laws
      • These make the Initiatives on the part of the international offices easier.

    Significance

    • Independent international organization:
      • It is a landmark moment for CDRI, to be recognized as an independent international organization, with a Charter endorsed by 31 countries and eight international organisations in less than two years
      • This will further enable the organization to fulfill its commitments and engagements on the resilience of infrastructure.
    • International movement of experts and staff:
      • The agreement will facilitate the experts of CDRI member countries to come to Delhi to do CDRI-related work. 
      • Staff members who want to work in other countries will also get help regarding the procedure issues such as visa etc.
      • So, by getting international status, it will be convenient to go to those countries and work at the grassroots level.
    • More members for the organization:
      • There were only 18 members when CDRI was launched. 
      • The number of members is more than double today, that is 31 nations and 8 international organizations.
      • After getting international status, the number of members will increase even more.

    Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI)

    • Launch:
      • India officially launched the CDRI at the 2019 UN Climate Action Summit in New York on 23 September 2019.
      • India initiated CDRI as a global partnership of 27 countries.
    • Aim: 
      • To promote disaster-resilient infrastructure.
    • About:
      • It is an international coalition of countries, UN agencies, multilateral development banks, the private sector, and academic institutions.
      • Disaster happens when this infrastructure fails. 
        • CDRI is looking at how we make sure that these crucial infrastructures continue to function even during an event such as an earthquake and cyclone. 
    • Headquarters: 
      • New Delhi, India (Interim Secretariat).
    • Founders: 
      • India, Australia, Bhutan, Fiji, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Maldives, Mexico, Mongolia, Rwanda, Sri Lanka and the United Kingdom. (13 countries).
      • The World Bank and the Green Climate Fund also supported the launch.
    • Working in India:
      • The resilience of power systems to extreme temperatures and extreme events, extreme rainfall, etc. 
      • In multiple sectors, CDRI is looking at how to engage different states in making them disaster and climate-resilient.
      • It is monitoring disasters like the heat waves in India. 
    • Major focus on Infrastructure: 
      • CDRI works on infrastructure and not disaster risk management in general. 
      • While CDRI is closely tracking the impact of heatwaves and other extreme events on infrastructure systems, it is not specifically looking at mortality alone.
    • Climate resilience for small island:
      • CDRI has recently launched a programme to help small island states develop resilience to climate crises at the 2021 UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow in November.

    Importance of CDRI

    • Complementing the International Solar Alliance (ISA).
    • The leadership of India for climate Action and Disaster Resilience at the global level.
    • Support India’s resilient missions abroad.
    • Provide opportunities for Indian infrastructure & technology firms to expand services abroad.

    Need for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure

    • The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR) highlights the role of improved disaster resilience of infrastructure as a cornerstone for sustainable development.
    • The SFDRR includes four specific targets related to the loss reduction:
      • Reduce global disaster mortality.
      • Reduce the number of affected people.
      • Reduce direct disaster economic loss.
      • Reduce disaster damage to critical infrastructure.
    • Target (4) on infrastructure is an important prerequisite to achieving the other loss reduction targets set out in the framework.

    Source: BS