Remarks by Csaba Kőrösi, President of the 77th session of the General Assembly

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Video message on International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction

Played on 17 October 2022

[ As delivered]

Excellencies, Dear Colleagues,

As it is often pointed out, history is a vast early warning system.

In a sense, it is true. Yet, we very rarely take history’s advice.

We have learned that, when it comes to disasters, early warning saves lives.

Yet half of the world is unprepared for catastrophes brought on by climate, weather or water.

As shown in the new report from WMO and the United Nations Office of Disaster Risk Reduction, deaths from disasters are nearly eight times lower in countries with good use of early warning systems.

Just 24 hours of warning ahead of an extreme weather event – such as a storm or a heatwave – can cut damage by nearly one-third.

The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction sets an ambitious target: to substantially increase the availability of and access to multi-hazard early warning systems and disaster risk information by 2030.

It is vital that we accelerate action towards this goal today.

Let us work to turn the Secretary-General’s call for universal early warning system coverage into reality within the next five years.

Thanks to advances in science and technology, we can now build resilience to disasters in ways that were unimaginable 10 or 20 years ago.

Let us translate these advances to practical solutions.

Because we can be sure that resilience and adaptation are the seeds of sustainability.

And let us invest in all elements of early warning – from risk knowledge and early action capacity, to enhanced data collection – to ensure that all people are protected from all conceivable disasters.

Most catastrophes are water-related, and increasingly caused by climate change – such as floods, landslides and waterborne disease outbreaks.

To ensure an effective early warning system, we need an international network to exchange data and information on water, too.

In fact, we need a unified system of data and information on weather and water.

So as to have that, I invite you to cooperate with the Water and Climate Coalition.

I also urge you to come up with transformative solutions.

Because there are no solutions that could be more transformative than the ones which may save human lives.

I thank you.



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