Very good morning to colleagues, distinguished participants, and friends,
Today, in commemoration of the 2022 World Tsunami Awareness Day, we have had the privilege of sharing experiences between United Nations entities, regional organizations, civil society and the private sector across Asia and the Pacific.
The commemoration provides a moment of reflection that is motivating, as it shows how far the region has come in early warning and early action before every tsunami.
Allow me to close this commemoration event by echoing the call of the UN Secretary-General to accelerate action to achieve early warning for all by 2027.
The establishment of the ESCAP Multi-Donor Trust Fund, just one year after the Indian Ocean tsunami that killed more than 250,000 people in over ten countries, represented a significant milestone towards a collective regional effort to address the unmet needs of early warning systems and disaster preparedness.
As we have heard today, the ESCAP Trust Fund, as the only dedicated regional fund that delivers coordinated support in the development of multi-hazard early warning systems, has proven to be instrumental in advancing disaster resilience, particularly for the benefit of high-risk and low-capacity countries in the Indian Ocean and Pacific basins.
The innovative approaches supported by the Trust Fund, we are proud to see, have been replicated and scaled across the region by partners in a concerted effort to reduce the lives and livelihoods lost through the effects of tsunamis.
Continued engagement and commitment of member States will be essential to ensure regional progress towards enhancing tsunami resilience. Today’s event has highlighted the importance of building partnerships and leveraging data to ensure warning and preparedness for all in Asia and the Pacific.
In emphasizing the importance of regional cooperation and partnerships to tackle the challenges posed by disasters such as transboundary tsunami events, I would like to thank our partners, UNDRR, UNDP, Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC)-UNESCO, the Pacific Community (SPC), as well as the Government of Japan for co-organizing this commemoration with us as well as for our continued collaboration.