View over the island and watershore at Sabang Island Acheh Indonesia
Event language(s)
  • English

Date: 8:30 - 10:00 EDT, 5 November 2021

The event will be broadcasted by the UN Web TV at and go live on Facebook. 
There will be captioning available.

Co-organized by the Permanent Missions of Chile, Fiji, Japan, and Maldives, the Co-Chairs of the Group of Friends of Disaster Risk Reduction (the Permanent Missions of Australia, Indonesia, Norway, and Peru), United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

World Tsunami Awareness Day, Full Coverage Here:


Six years ago, the United Nations General Assembly  designated 5 November as World Tsunami Awareness Day (WTAD). The General Assembly invited all Member States, the United Nations system, international and regional organizations, as well as civil society, to observe WTAD each year and raise awareness of the risk posed by tsunamis. Linking with the 2021 International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction and the Sendai Seven Campaign, which will focus on Sendai Framework Target F to substantially enhance international cooperation to developing countries for disaster risk reduction, the WTAD on-line event will consider international cooperation for tsunami awareness and risk reduction with a special focus on science, technology, and innovation. 

The objective of thIs event hosted from New York is to highlight the importance of international cooperation in raising awareness of and reducing the risk posed by tsunamis within a multi-hazard approach to disaster risk reduction. Specifically, the event will highlight the critical importance of partnerships and synergies between development cooperation actors, the science and technology sectors, and research and academic institutions. The event will share good practice and innovative technologies in reducing tsunami risk as well as solutions that have been effective in bridging the gap and adapting these technologies to meet the needs of developing countries.

As a contribution to the implementation of approach put forward in the Secretary-General’s recent report on “Our Common Agenda”, the event will also shine a spotlight on youth and young scientists engaged in disaster risk reduction, including tsunami risk reduction. By engaging young people working in science and technology, the event aims to propose solutions to ensure policy and investment decisions made today do not create risk for young and future generations. The event also aims to leverage the links between World Tsunami Awareness Day activities and the United Nations Decade of Ocean.

Ahead of the event, we asked Mr. Fumihiko Imamura, the Director of the International Research Institute of Disaster Science, Tohoku University: How does the climate change affect tsunami risk? Please see his message below.



Shakuntala Santhiran  

Ms. Shakuntala Santhiran

Facilitator, Moderate The Panel

Shakuntala Santhiran is an international broadcast journalist and moderator. She has more than two decades of experience as a television news anchor, reporter and producer with leading media organizations including the BBC, CNN International and Al Jazeera English. Shaks was living in Kyoto when the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami hit the Northeast coast of Japan on March 11, 2011. Shaks was rushed to Tokyo to report for Al Jazeera. She speaks several languages including English, Mandarin and conversational Japanese. Shaks is a passionate advocate for animal rights.

Opening Remarks 

H.E. Ambassador Abdulla Shahid  

H.E. Ambassador Mr. Abdulla Shahid 

President of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly (Video Message)

Honorable Abdulla Shahid is the President of the United Nations General Assembly. His public service career has spanned for more than 38 years. He has served for the Government of Maldives in various capacities, including serving as a Minister for Foreign Affairs and Executive Secretary to the President at the President's Office. He has also served as the Member of Parliament, President of the Association of SAARC Speakers and Parliamentarians Conference and in the Executive Committee of the Commonwelath Parliamentary Association. He is continuously advocating for the multidimensional impacts of climate change and Small Island Developing States' vulnerabilities to external shocks and disasters.

Miyake Shingo  

Mr. MIYAKE Shingo

Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (Video Message)

Mr. MIYAKE Shingo is the Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan since October 2021. Member of the House of Councillors (elected twice) and Liberal Democratic Party of Japan (LDP).

H.E. Ambassador Fiona Webster   

H.E. Ambassador Ms. Fiona Webster 

Deputy Head of the Permanent Mission of Australia to the United Nations

Dr Webster is a senior career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). She commenced as Australia’s Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN in December 2020. Immediately prior to this, she was A/g First Assistant Secretary of DFAT’s Consular and Crisis Management Division. Dr Webster has worked in DFAT since 2015, firstly as Director of the United Nations Economic and Development team and then as Director of the Media and Parliamentary team. Before joining DFAT, she worked in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet’s International Division, leading the team responsible for Australia’s relationship with Europe, multilateral organisations and the Pacific. Dr Webster holds a PhD and Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in philosophy from the Australian National University.

Mami Mizutori  

Ms. Mami Mizutori

Special Representative of the Secretary-General, United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR)

Ms. Mami Mizutori is leading United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction. Before joining UNDRR, she has served as Executive Director of the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures, University of East Anglia, United Kingdom. Prior to the Institute, she served for 27 years in the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs in various capacities, including as Budget Director, Director of the Japan Information and Culture Centre at the Embassy of Japan in London, Director of the National Security Policy Division, Director of the United Nations Policy Division, Director of the Status of United States Forces Agreement Division and Deputy Director of the Personnel Division. She has worked in London, Washington, D.C., and Mexico City.  She has taught courses on governance in East Asia at Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University and international studies at Waseda University, Tokyo.

Video message from youth  

Ms. Rina Suryani Oktari
Faculty of Medicine, Syiah Kuala University; Tsunami & Disaster Mitigation Research Center, Indonesia 

Ms. Nur Safitri Lasibani
Executive Director at Yayasan Sikola Mombine, Palu, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia 

Ms. Alinne Melina Olvera Martínez
BSc, Mexican School of Risk Management and Civil Protection Professionals, Mexico

Mr. Alexander Virgili
Political scientist, analyst and disaster management expert,  

Ms. Anna Shinka
Ph.D student, Tohoku University, Japan

Mr. Yu Watanabe
Master student, Tohoku University, Japan

Ms. Aina Sylvania Andrianjakatina
Member of the Africa Youth Advisory Board on DRR (Southern Africa Representative), Researcher at the Centre of Economic Study and Research for Development, Antananarivo, Madagascar

Ms. Mariyam Shizna
Lead U-INSPIRE Maldives 

Ms. Katarina Rayawa
Seismology Section of the Mineral Resources Department under the Ministry of Lands and Mineral Resources, Fiji

Ms. Josephine Falemaka
Youth volunteer for the Tonga Red Cross Society, Ha’apai Red Cross Branch, Tonga


Keynote Speaker 

Vladimir Ryabinin  

Dr. Vladimir Ryabinin

Executive Secretary, Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO

Dr. Vladimir Ryabinin is the Executive Secretary of the IOC, the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO, and Assistant Director-General of UNESCO. An oceanographer, marine engineer, meteorologist, and climatologist, Dr Ryabinin has been involved in various capacities in the activities of the United Nations. He contributed to the core design and coordination of the Global Ocean Observing System, the World Climate Research Programme, and the International Polar Year 2007/2008. Dr. Ryabinin is focussed on creating a solid scientific foundation for managing the ocean sustainably, including through the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, 2021-2030.

Panel Discussion

Vasiti Soko  

Ms. Vasiti Soko

Director, Fiji National Disaster Management Office 

Vasiti’s industry experience spans 15 plus years in the highly technical field of geospatial science and surveying. She has assisted a number of significant projects while working for the Fijian Government including developing a disaster-integrated system prior taking on her current role. She has also worked across a number of regional projects in Nauru, Federate of Micronesia, Palau, Tuvalu, Marshall Island, Kiribati and Australia. 

Mr. Ricardo Toro  

Mr. Ricardo Toro

Director, Chile’s Office of National Emergencies (ONEMI)    

​​Ricardo Toro is the National Director of Chile’s Office of National Emergencies (ONEMI). He was appointed as National Director of ONEMI on December 20, 2012. He achieved the rank of General in the Chilean Army (ret.), with postgraduate studies in Business Administration, and Master’s degrees in Human Resources and Strategic Planning. In October 2017, he was appointed as member of the Consultative Group of the Central Emergency Action Fund (CERF) that guides and advises the Secretary-General of the United Nations on the use and allocation of resources from the Fund, which constitutes one of the mechanisms more effective in supporting rapid response to people affected by humanitarian crises, including so-called “forgotten crises” and underfunded humanitarian emergencies.

Ms Gina BONNE  

Ms. Gina Bonne 

Chargée de Mission, Gender and Risk Reduction, The Indian Ocean Commission

27 years of progressive professional experience in development sectors of which 12 years in managerial position in the Ministry of Agriculture in Seychelles as assistant Director of the Plant Protection Section and Director of Agricultural Planning. 15 years of experience in regional cooperation in the field of agriculture, fisheries, maritime affairs and environment (marine and terrestrial ecosystems) to include climate change and disaster risk reduction. Experience in developing and management of multidisciplinary and regional projects and programmes. Experience in facilitating and chairing regional meetings, workshops and fora. Experience working with funding agencies, mainly the European Union, World Bank, French GEF, French Development Bank and recently the Green Climate Fund. Experience working in collaboration with UN Agencies and technical partners UNEP and the Nairobi Convention, WMO, IMO, UNISDR, UNDESA, Global mechanism, as well as with African Regional Economic Organisations AUC, COMESA, SADC, IGAD, ECOWAS and WIOMSA. 

Mr. Ronald Jackson   

Mr. Ronald Jackson 

Head of the Disaster Risk Reduction, Recovery for Building Resilience Team, UNDP

Heads the Disaster Risk Reduction & Recovery Team (DRT) for Building Resilience in the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) the Disaster Risk Reduction & Recovery Team (DRT) for Building Resilience in the United Development Programme (UNDP) in Geneva. He is a member of both the Crisis Bureau senior management team and the GPN management team. His appointment on May 1s, 2020 follows seven (7) years of unwavering and exemplary service as, Executive Director of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA). Under his stewardship, the Agency gained further recognition and prominence throughout the Caribbean and globally as one of the foremost regional disaster risk management institutions and a preferred partner for a safe and more resilient Caribbean. 

Dr. Huraini Rahma Hanifa  

Dr. Nuraini Rahma Hanifa 

Secretary General, U-INSPIRE Alliance - Junior Researcher, Research Center for Geotechnology, National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN)

Dr. Nuraini Rahma Hanifa is the 2021 winner of the WIN DRR Leadership Award for her work as a Rising Star in the field of disaster risk reduction. She works with the Research Center for Geotechnology, Research Organization of Earth Sciences, National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN), previously known as Indonesia Institute of Sciences (LIPI). Rahma founded U-INSPIRE Indonesia in 2018 and U-INSPIRE Alliance together with 8 countries in 2019. She has been an appointed young scientist representative in the Asia Pacific Science, Technology and Academia Advisory Group (AP-STAG) of UNDRR. 



Closing Remarks

Shakuntala Santhiran  

H.E. Ambassador Mr. Kimihiro Ishikane

Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations in New York

Until his appointment as Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations, Mr. Ishikane was the Ambassador of Japan to Canada. Before that, he served as Deputy Minister for Foreign Policy.  From 2015 to 2016, he served as Director‑General of the Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau and from 2014 to 2015, as Director‑General of the International Cooperation Bureau.  Prior to that he was the Ambassador of Japan to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Mr. Ishikane began his career in Government service in 1981 when he joined the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. Since then he has held various positions, including First Secretary, Embassy of Japan in France (1996‑1998); Director, First Africa Division (1999‑2001); Minister, Embassy of Japan in the United States (2005‑2007); and Executive Assistant to the Prime Minister (2007‑2008).




WTAD 2021 - Concept Note.pdf 0.3 MB, PDF,

Document links last validated on: 25 October 2021

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