Abu Dhabi-UAE: – The Regional Conference (RECO) of WMO’s Regional Association II (Asia), hosted by the National Center of Meteorology (NCM), concluded today in the UAE capital Abu Dhabi by issuing a high-level statement in support of the United Nations initiative ‘Early Warning for All’.

Outlining the importance of early warning systems in preventing and mitigating the impact of disasters in the region, the statement highlighted the urgent need to build national and community response capabilities by supporting the development of national policy and legislation to ensure the mainstreaming of Early Warning, developing and advancing impact-based warnings and decision support systems for key Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) stakeholders.

The statement also emphasized the need to build capacity on effective and authoritative early warnings in suitable formats, such as the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP), for all key users including media and to close observation gaps to meet global, regional and national needs which is critical for predictions for all timescales.

RAII RECO participants also reiterated their support for the further development and implementation of the WMO Greenhouse Gas Monitoring initiative as a crucial tool to support implementation of the Paris Agreement and the development of strategies for achieving net zero anthropogenic emissions.

The statement also urged the UN System’s agencies, funds and programmes, inter-governmental organizations, regional organizations, government institutions, development partners, non-governmental organizations, private sectors and academia to continue to collaborate with WMO and its Member States in order to achieve Early Warnings for All.

Running in a hybrid format from 13 to 16 March 2023, RECO provided a forum for the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) of RA II to address the emerging issues and challenges, strengthen regional cooperation and enhance partnerships for the implementation of WMO resolutions and decisions in view of regional priorities.

His Excellency Dr. Abdulla Al Mandous, Director General of NCM, and President of the Regional Association II (Asia), said: “We are pleased with the successful conclusion of RAII RECO, which provided us with a platform to exchange knowledge, share best practices, and identify ways to strengthen early warning systems, enable integrated services and build resilient infrastructure across RAII region. We are confident that the Conference’s outcomes and recommendations will facilitate the implementation of action plans on UN’s call for enhanced early warning systems, especially in our region which is frequently affected by a range of natural disasters due to its vast and diverse landscape.”

He added: “As a significant step towards advancing the implementation of the UN initiative ‘Early Warning for All’ in RAII region, the high-level statement issued by RECO participants highlights our collective commitment to building a more resilient region and protecting our communities from the devastating impact of disasters. We believe that by working together, sharing knowledge and resources, and investing in effective early warning systems, we can improve our capacity to prevent and mitigate the impact of disasters on communities across our region and beyond.”

The Conference drew the participation of several senior officials including His Excellency Faris Al Mazrouei, Advisor in Presidential Court and Chairman of Board of Trustees, NCM, His Excellency Majid Al Suwaidi, Director General of COP 28, and His Excellency Petri Taalas, WMO Secretary General, among others. It also convened over 150 participants including the Ambassadors of RA II Asia’s 35-member countries, key officials from WMO and other UN commissions and offices and the Permanent Representatives of WMO Members from Asia.

Over its four-day run, the conference discussed an array of topics related to meteorology focusing on three segments including Early Warnings for All, Infrastructure, Integrated Services.

The agenda also featured a high-level session on RECO’s opening day focusing on the United Nation’s Early Warnings for All initiative. The session was addressed by His Excellency Petri Taalas, WMO Secretary General, along with the participation of Assistant Secretary-General and Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction in the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), Executive Secretary of United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), and Executive Secretary of United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA).