12 Nov 2020
Deputy Permanent Secretary Chutintorn Gongsakdi of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand highlighted the importance of early warning systems, preparedness for tsunamis and other natural disasters, and announced Thailand’s additional contribution of USD 30,000 to the Trust Fund for Tsunami, Disaster, and Climate Preparedness in Indian Ocean and Southeast Asian Countries during his opening remarks at the Trust Fund’s 21st Advisory Council Meeting.
On 5 November 2020, at the United Nations Conference Centre in Bangkok, Mr. Chutintorn Gongsakdi, Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand, delivered opening remarks at the 21st Meeting of the Advisory Council of the ESCAP Multi-Donor Trust Fund for Tsunami, Disaster, and Climate Preparedness in Indian Ocean and Southeast Asian Countries, coinciding with the commemorative event of the World Tsunami Awareness Day. The Deputy Permanent Secretary also announced and delivered Thailand’s additional contribution of USD 30,000 to the Trust Fund, to the Executive Secretary of the ESCAP, reaffirming Thailand’s support to the Trust Fund which has significantly contributed to the strengthening of the early warning systems for tsunami and other climate-induced disasters in the region.
In his remarks, the Deputy Permanent Secretary emphasised the importance of early warning systems and preparedness for tsunamis and other natural disasters that continue to threaten communities and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which have been further challenged by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The Deputy Permanent Secretary encouraged countries to establish national and local disaster risk reduction strategies by 2020 to achieve Target E of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (2015-2030)
The Deputy Permanent Secretary underscored disaster risk reduction as a shared responsibility of the international community, and took the opportunity to encourage other countries and the private sector to support the valuable works of the Trust Fund. Soon after the Indian Ocean Tsunami that hit Thailand, Indonesia and other countries in 2004, Thailand announced the establishment of the Multi-Donor Voluntary Trust Fund on Tsunami Early Warning Arrangements in the Indian Ocean and Southeast Asian Countries and made its initial contribution of USD 10 million which has since been bolstered by additional contributions from several other countries. Managed by the ESCAP, the Trust Fund has thus far supported 29 projects which have benefitted more than 20 countries in the region. Its mandate has also been expanded to cover Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in the Pacific and further types of disasters such as floods and typhoons other than tsunamis.