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Volkan Bozkir, President of the 75th session of the General Assembly delivers a message on the World Tsunami Awareness Day
5 Nov 2020 -  World Tsunami Awareness Day, recognizes the hundreds of thousands of lives, lost to tsunamis.
This initiative, spearheaded by Japan, with support from UN Disaster Risk Reduction, reminds us that, investing in early warning and preparedness saves lives. And there has been progress.
Through the ‘Tsunami Project’, launched by UNDP, and funded by the Government of Japan , 23 countries, 315 schools, and over 150,000 students and teachers, have been supported with evacuation drills, and the designation of emergency shelters. Other countries, have also wisely invested in tsunami early warning systems.
These efforts are critically important.
The UN Ocean Conference, estimated that more than 600 million people live in coastal areas, that are less than 10 meters above sea level. This number is sure to rise, as population growth and rapid urbanization, draws more people to coastal cities. Climate change, induced sea-level rise exacerbates the risks.
Without better planning, these communities risk heightened vulnerability, to natural hazards such as tsunamis, but also to sea surge, flooding and storms.
As we look to 2030, and the Decade of Action on the Sustainable Development Goals, we must make every effort, to build resilience for each step of the way, ensuring it is a common thread, woven into every action we take.
Thank you.