Governments from across the Asia-Pacific region have agreed to cooperate more closely to enhance their disaster preparedness.
The agreement came at the end of a summit convened by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, which brought together 33 countries from around the region.
The commission's secretary general, Shamshad Akhtar, says the region bears the brunt of disasters worldwide, and the continued, severe impact of natural disasters threatens to roll back hard-won development gains.
The countries are concerned the impacts of disasters are rising rapidly, and the erosion of environmental buffers has further weakened their capacity to cope.
They agreed to work more closely to strengthen technical areas such as drought monitoring and other strategies.