With the entry into force of Resolution 44/236 in December 1989, the General Assembly designated the second Wednesday of October International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction. The International Day was to be observed annually during the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction, 1990-1999.
With Resolution 64/200 of 21 December 2009 the General Assembly decided to designate 13 October as the date to commemorate the Day and to change the Day's name to International Day for Disaster Reduction.
The objective of the observance is to raise awareness how people are taking action to reduce their risk to disasters. In 2011, the observance takes place within the framework of the "Step Up for Disaster Risk Reduction!" campaign, and its theme is “Making Children and Young People Partners for Disaster Risk Reduction”.
66.5 million children are affected annually by disasters. Because it is difficult for them to cope with unexpected and painful interruptions to their lives, they are often more affected than adults. Victims of disaster and climate change, children and young people can and should be encouraged to participate in disaster reduction and decision making.