• Although our nation is a world reference in the field, we must continue to progress.
• Mexico will host the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction.
• By working together, society and government are moving from reaction to anticipation; prevention means life, he said.
President Enrique Peña Nieto said today that, “Thanks to the contributions Mexico has made the world in the field of civil protection in the past 30 years, our country was chosen by the United Nations to host the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction, to be held in 2017.”
As he led the Ordinary Session of the National Council for Civil Protection, he said that, “Although Mexico is a world leader in this field, we must continue advancing," and declared that the government has made civil protection programs and actions a genuine state policy, whose aim is to serve and protect Mexicans at times of adversity.
He stressed that, “Society and government must always be prepared to face any eventuality or risk. Knowing what to do, where to turn, who to call for help, or what steps to take in an emergency can make the difference between life and death.”
Addressing the nation's governors, members of the Legal and Extended Cabinet and members of national and international civilian organizations involved in civil protection, President Peña Nieto noted that, “By working together we are moving from reaction to anticipation,” placing greater emphasis on the culture of prevention, "because we are convinced, as has been said here, and in keeping with the motto of the task and the effort we have made in the field of civil protection, that prevention is life.
President Peña Nieto said that every contingency, “Has taught us valuable lessons about how to act before, during and after a risk.” By way of an example, he cited the National Civil Protection Program, which now comprises state of the art features to support Mexicans with greater speed, quality and efficiency, and the National Warning System which brings all the country's monitoring and warning instruments together in a single platform.
He added that in recent days, Satellite Morelos III was put into orbit which, among other benefits, will maintain communications during emergencies, putting the most advanced technology at the service of the population.
He said that another important development has been the recent decision by the Federal Telecommunications Institute to combine emergency service into a single national number. The president recalled that he pledged to enable Mexicans, in the near future, to request the support of local police, state police, the Red Cross and the Fire Brigade by dialing 911.
He noted that at the same time, progress is being made to strengthen the legal framework for civil protection. “An example of this is the Mexican Official Standard for Tsunamis, which includes the specifications for prevention, alerts and evacuation to deal with this natural phenomenon.”
The president said that it is necessary to continue spreading the culture of civil protection, especially among children and youth, promoting the professionalization of human resources, identification schemes with an emphasis on local governments, and linking integrated risk management to urban development. To this end, he issued the following instructions:
First: To the Ministers of the Interior and Public Education to undertake the necessary actions to ensure that every school has a Civil Protection Program, with which the school community is familiar.
Second: He instructed both ministers, together with the Ministry of Public Administration, to promote Civil Protection within the civil service career.
He instructed the Civil Protection Coordinator to promote identification and certification schemes for Municipal and State Civil Protection personnel, volunteers and search and rescue teams.
He also instructed him to “Coordinate with the Ministry of Communications and Transportation to launch a Single Number Plate scheme to identify all units directly attached to the areas of civil protection to facilitate their work.”
Third: He instructed the Interior Ministry and the Ministry of Agrarian, Land and Urban Development (SEDATU) to propose adjustments to the General Law on Human Settlements to bring them into line with international urban development standards regarding Civil Protection.
He said that in this regard, it is important for development plans to incorporate mandatory comprehensive risk management, and that the Federation can participate in the regulation and sanction of human settlements that endanger the lives of their inhabitants.
The president also instructed SEDATU to prepare a guide to urban resilience, so that cities can be better prepared to recover from any natural disasters or large-scale accidents.
At the event, during which he swore in the governors and Cabinet members who now comprise the National Council for Civil Protection, he stressed that each and every one in this Council, “Has a great responsibility to society.” “In the field of civil protection, Mexicans must be alert at all times.
We cannot afford to be complacent, far less let down our guard,” he concluded.
IN CIVIL PROTECTION, MEXICO HAS SHOWN ITS PEOPLE AND THE WORLD THAT IT IS NOW MORE AND BETTER PREPARED: LUIS FELIPE PUENTE
During President Enrique Peña Nieto’s government, Mexico has shown its people and the world that civil protection is now more and better prepared. Although there will inevitably be problems, “By acting with prevention and together, we will be able to cope with and obviously overcome them,” said National Civil Protection Coordinator and Technical Secretary of the National Civil Protection Council Luis Felipe Puente Espinosa.
Weighing up the National System of Civil Protection, he said that everyone continues to work within their area, “Joining, as you have instructed, this great cause: caring for and protecting Mexicans’ lives.”
Puente Espinosa stressed that protecting the public from the risks of natural phenomena and acting to ensure its speedy recovery when they occur is a responsibility and an ongoing challenge that calls for the efforts, commitment and unity of government and society, which will strengthen the framework of integrated risk management to build a resilient Mexico.
”Civil protection is a task for all, as confirmed by this Council meeting, in which all the states are present,” he said.
STRENGTHENING THE AREAS OF CIVIL PROTECTION IN EVERY STATE IN THE COUNTRY SHOULD BE A PERMANENT COMMITMENT IN OUR GOVERNMENT ACTION: MIGUEL ÁNGEL MANCERA
Mexico City Mayor Miguel Ángel Mancera Espinosa said that strengthening the areas of civil protection in every state should be a permanent commitment in their governments’ action.
He said that from their respective positions, state governments, “Must redouble our efforts to strengthen local civil protection systems. We must continue to strengthen the concept of resilience, and we must position it to create a resilient Mexico.”
He said that Mexico City was declared as a living laboratory for resilience, making the capital, “A center of attention and obviously analysis. This, he says, requires a confirmation of the commitment to building a culture of prevention.
Mancera Espinosa acknowledged the government’s work and ongoing commitment in this matter, noting that the Federal District has been a clear witness to the support received from Federal Administration agencies.