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Top Indian official begins term as UN chief’s special representative for disaster risk reduction

A top Indian official, Kamal Kishore, started his term as UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’s special representative for disaster risk reduction.

On May 20, the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) welcomed Kishore, who began his term as the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) for Disaster Risk Reduction and the head of UNDRR.

Kamal Kishore succeeds Mami Mizutori of Japan, according to the UNDRR statement. On March 27, Antonio Guterres announced the appointment of Kamal Kishore as Assistant Secretary-General and Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction, United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR).

Kishore emphasized that UNDRR plays an important role in uniting global efforts to reduce disaster risks in the face of increasing vulnerabilities. Kamal Kishore said he was looking forward to building on the progress made to date.

“UNDRR’s ambition matches the scale of the problem,” he said.

He also praised Mami Mizutori for her leadership and expressed gratitude to UNDRR Director, Paola Albrito, for serving as the Acting SRSG prior to his arrival.

Kamal Kishore has nearly 30 years of experience in disaster risk reduction at the global, regional, national, and local levels, having worked in government, the United Nations, and civil society organizations, according to the UNDRR statement.

Since 2015, he has served as Head of the Department of India’s National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA). He also led the Group of 20 (G20) Working Group on Disaster Risk Reduction under India’s G20 presidency.

Before joining NDMA, Kishore spent nearly 13 years with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Geneva, New Delhi, and New York. During this time, he led global advocacy to integrate disaster resilience concerns into the Sustainable Development Goals and managed a global team of disaster risk reduction advisers to support UNDP programme countries, according to the statement.

Before joining the UNDP, he served as director of Information and Research and manager of the Extreme Climate Events Programme covering Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam at the Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre in Bangkok from 1996 to 2002, according to the statement.

An architect at the Action Research Unit for Development in New Delhi from 1992 to 1994, he worked on post-earthquake reconstruction projects.

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