Creating Healthy Resilient and Sustainable Cities through a Whole-of-Society Approach, Harnessing South-South and Triangular Cooperation

June 7, 2023

4th annual joint certificate training launched by UNOSSC, UNDRR-GETI, PAHO/WHO and WHO


The first session of the “Whole-of-society Approach to Creating Healthy, Resilient, and Sustainable Cities: Harnessing South-South Cooperation for a Post-COVID Era” training series took place on 7 June 2023. 1901 participants from over 140 countries and territories attended the live session.

Building on results and feedback received from past three annual training editions, and learning from the pandemic, the 4th annual training will aim to provide foundation of thoughts for engaging multi-governments and multi-stakeholders especially most at-risk groups such as women, youth and person with disabilities in DRR and public health emergency response and preparedness.

Moderated by Heini Utunen, Head of WHO Emergency Learning and Capacity Development Unit, Session 1 included speakers from all four UN agency partners introducing knowledge and concepts on South-South and triangular cooperation trends and modalities, disaster risk reduction, urban resilience, and Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.

At the opening, Dima Al-Khatib, Director of UNOSSC, emphasized, “it is crucial to reflect on the lessons learned from the pandemic. COVID-19 has exposed the vulnerability of our societies and the inadequacy of our prevailing risk governance and management systems in dealing with interconnected risks and their cascading impacts. Capacity building for local risk management becomes a priority, guided and supported by national-level authorities and partners.”

She further called on for a whole-of-society approach, engaging all levels of government and partnering with all stakeholders from various sectors, and promoting cross-border regional and inter-regional collective actions and partnerships through South-South and triangular cooperation.

Loretta Hieber Girardet, Chief of the Risk Knowledge, Monitoring and Capacity Development Branch of UNDRR, underscored the need for enhanced local-level capacities and emphasized the importance of a whole-of-society approach as the midpoint of the implementation of the Sendai Framework was reached.

Dr. Ciro Ugarte, Director of Health Emergencies (PHE) of PAHO, highlighted the necessity of working across sectors, borders, languages, and communities. By uniting efforts, it is possible to enhance emergency response capacity and foster resilient communities and urban environments worldwide.

Xiaojun Grace Wang, Trust Fund Director of UNOSSC, introduced the principles and modalities of SSTC and the significant contribution of South-South Cooperation in responding to COVID-19, improving public health, and reducing disaster risks.

Sanjaya Bhatia, Head of Global Education and Training Institute of UNDRR, shared that systematizing an all-of-society approach and strengthening inclusion in DRR will be crucial in achieving the outcome and goal of the Sendai Framework and building resilient communities.

This joint training sessions is being held weekly on 7, 14, 21 and 27 June 2023.