Author: UNDRR

Opening remarkys by SRSG Mami Mizutori: 3rd Multi-hazard Early Warning Conference

Source(s): United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction

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Opening remarks by Mami Mizutori, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction 

3rd Multi-hazard Early Warning Conference

Monday 23 May


Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the 3rd Multi-hazard Early Warning Conference.

I am pleased to see so many of you participating and would like to recognise Mr. Keith Campbell, Chair of the opening ceremony, as well as Prof. Petteri Taalas and Prof. Dwikorita Karnawati.  My sincere thanks also go to our host, the Government of Indonesia.

The world has witnessed a sharp increase in the number of recorded disasters during the last two decades, due to an increase in climate-related disasters.

These disasters have devastating socio-economic repercussions, especially for the most vulnerable, as nothing undermines development like a disaster.

Similarly, earthquakes continue to destroy or damage infrastructure and top the list of the number of people killed or injured.  Tsunamis in coastal areas, although rare, can trigger enormous losses and casualties.

Moreover, the climate emergency and the COVID-19 pandemic have demonstrated the systemic nature of risk. This requires greater strengthening of disaster risk governance via a multi-sectoral and multi-hazard approach.

At the same time, the benefits of investing in DRR, in particular in Multi-hazard Early Warning Systems, are apparent in the reduced deaths from disasters. Nevertheless, important gaps remain in the coverage and availability of such systems, especially in least developed countries and small island developing states.

This Conference is an excellent opportunity to take stock and promote the scaling up Target G of the Sendai Framework, which calls on us to substantially increase the availability of and access to Multi-hazard Early Warning Systems.

Target G will the theme for this year’s International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction, and a critical point of synergy in international cooperation.

This exercise is timely given the recent call of the UN Secretary-General to ensure that every person on Earth is protected by early warning systems related to storms, heatwaves, floods and droughts within five years.

UNDRR is committed to supporting our partners to deliver in these life-saving efforts. Allow me to mention three of our workstreams that will contribute:

First, our joint ‘Centre of Excellence’ with WMO will work on areas related to strengthening multi-hazard early warning systems, such as data and risk knowledge, risk governance, and preparedness.

Second, as we approach the midterm of the Sendai Framework, UNDRR and its partners are taking stock of progress against Target G. This Conference will feed into this process.

Third, UNDRR, is currently developing with partners a practical guide on Multi-hazard Early Warning Systems for practitioners as part of our ‘Words into Action’ series. I invite you to provide feedback and input to the consultative version of this guide, which will be launched in November during COP27.

I encourage you all to seize the unique opportunity offered by this Conference to enhance the knowledge and practice of multi-hazard early warning systems.  We must also seek new ways of strengthening partnerships and intergovernmental and cross-sectoral collaboration. This includes partnerships with civil society to ensure the most at-risk, such as women, children, older persons, and persons with disabilities, are included in planning and deployment efforts. Only then can we deliver end-to-end and people-centred systems which will stop the spiral of disaster destruction and contribute to a more sustainable, more resilient and more equitable future.

I wish you all a successful conference.

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