Ready for the next wave!

United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction
Japan - government
Event language(s)

Thursday 5 November 2020 12:00 to 13:00 CET

Co-hosted by HE Ambassador Emilio Izquierdo, Chair of UNDRR Support Group and SRSG Mami Mizutori with the kind support of the Government of Japan



Tsunamis are, thankfully, rare events, but they do happen. They are often more sudden and deadly than any other hazard, claiming thousands of lives and causing massive economic loss in just a few minutes, with long lasting negative effects on people’s lives and livelihoods. Countries in Asia, the Caribbean and South America have learned valuable lessons from first-hand experience of tsunami and have worked tirelessly to create a culture of tsunami awareness among the general public, educating coastal communities at risk and ensuring that people recognize the warning signs so that they take prompt action to evacuate to a safe place.

It is particularly encouraging to see the progress being made in the Caribbean; more than 26 communities across 15 countries are now recognized as ‘Tsunami Ready’[1]. The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, the global plan to reduce disaster losses by 2030, calls for a substantial increase in the number of national and local disaster risk reduction strategies in place by the end of 2020, and urges all countries to have multi-hazards early warning systems in place by 2030. Today, 93 countries report having national disaster risk reduction plans in place and 69 have access to multi-hazard early warning systems.

This is a good start, but it is not enough if we want to meet the Sendai Framework deadline for Targets (e) and (g). To celebrate the fourth World Tsunami Awareness Day (WTAD) on 5 November 2020, country representatives will be invited to discuss how they are implementing Target (e) of the Sendai Framework, focusing on related tsunami plans and strategies.


About the event

On 5 November 2020, UNDRR will invite country representatives at Ambassadorial level, based in Geneva to a 60-minute High-Level Panel to share with a virtual audience how they are implementing disaster risk reduction plans and are preparing to face the next tsunami. Participants will reflect on two main components: (1) the importance of reducing tsunami risk through further developing accurate and timely tsunami warning systems, and (2) strengthening disaster risk governance to reduce existing disaster risks and avoid creating new risks.

The 60-minute event will be chaired by Ambassador Emilio Izquierdo, Chair of the UNDRR Support Group, alongside a panel of UN and country representatives.



  • H.E. Emilio Izquierdo, Ambassador, Permanent Mission of  Ecuador and Chair-UNDRR Support Group.
  • H.E. Kazuyuki Yamazaki Ambassador, Permanent Mission of Japan
  • H.E. Hasan Kleib Ambassador, Permanent Mission of the Republic of Indonesia 
  • H.E. Asim Ahmed, Ambassador, Permanent Mission of the Maldives
  • H.E. Rui Macieira Ambassador, Permanent Mission of Portugal
  • H.E. Ms. Cheryl Spencer, Ambassador, Permanent Mission of Jamaica

And Mami Mizutori, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction, UNDRR; Mr. Vladimir Ryabinin, (Head of IOC-UNESCO ) and Mr. Ronald Jackson, (UNDP Geneva Head)

[1] In 2015, the UNESCO IOC Intergovernmental Coordination Group for Tsunamis and other Coastal Hazards for the Caribbean and Adjacent Regions (ICG/CARIBE EWS-X) recommended the approval of the Tsunami Ready guidelines, and this recommendation was approved by the IOC General Assembly. Subsequently, the IOC global TOWS Working Group IX (2016) noted the ICG/CARIBE-EWS adoption of the Tsunami Ready guidelines.

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