Excellencies, distinguished participants, Ladies and gentlemen,
We meet today to observe the 2021 World Tsunami Awareness Day.
The General Assembly designated 5 November for countries, international bodies and civil society to continuously raise awareness about tsunami and share innovative approaches to risk reduction.
Much has been achieved since the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami killed more than 250,000 lives in over ten countries and exposed the lack of early warning systems and disaster preparedness.
The establishment of the ESCAP Multi-Donor Trust Fund one year later represented a significant milestone towards a collective regional effort to address these unmet needs.
In line with this year’s theme for the International Day for Disaster Reduction, which is around Target F of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction to “Substantially enhance international cooperation to developing countries,” the Trust Fund has deepened and extended regional cooperation mechanisms and partnerships.
Over the past 15 years, it has continuously strengthened early warning systems for the benefit of high-risk and low-capacity countries in the Indian and Pacific Ocean basins, particularly addressing transboundary hazards.
Today, the Trust Fund continues to provide financial and technical support to address gaps and unmet needs in the region’s early warning systems.
As the only dedicated regional trust fund that delivers coordinated support in the development of multi-hazard early warning systems, it has achieved significant results by promoting innovative pilot initiatives, scaling up early warning systems and facilitating cooperation among countries.
Continued engagement and commitment of member States will be essential to ensuring regional progress towards enhancing tsunami resilience.
Today’s event will highlight examples of successful cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region around building preparedness and resilience to tsunamis.
In emphasizing the importance of regional cooperation and partnerships to tackle the challenges posed by disasters, I would like to thank UNDRR, UNDP, IOC-UNESCO and all partners for our continued collaboration.
Thank you very much.