27 February 2023, Hiroshima, Japan – Eighteen participants from nine countries will participate in the second phase of UNITAR Hiroshima Women’s Leadership in Tsunami-based Disaster Risk Reduction Training Programme for World Tsunami Awareness Day. The training will be held in person in Samoa from 7 – 11 March 2023. This is the first time UNITAR Division for Prosperity will hold workshops in Samoa and is also the first time in two years that the DRR Programme will have in-person learning.

As part of the UNITAR Division for Prosperity’s work in Leadership and Inclusion, the programme aims to equip women with practical skills and knowledge that help them lead gender-inclusive and community-based disaster risk reduction management.

UNITAR’s Disaster Risk Reduction programme has as its backbone the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (2015-2030), which will undergo a midterm review in May 2023. The framework calls for an “all-of-society” and “all-of-States” engagement to reduce disaster risk.

The 18 participants in the Samoa workshops were selected from the first phase of the UNITAR DRR Programme. The outstanding performers hail from Fiji, India, Kiribati, Micronesia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Samoa, Solomon Islands and Tonga.

In the first phase, participants learned about disaster experiences from Japan, the Pacific, and Asia; the current and future impacts of climate change on disaster risks; gender and inclusivity in DRR planning; and Disaster preparedness for future risks and Community-based DRR. In this second phase, they will learn more about leadership and management in disaster risk reduction with topics that are focused on the following:

  • volcanoes, earthquakes, tsunamis, droughts, storms and flooding
  • media and communications in disaster risk reduction
  • gender and disaster risk reduction
  • people with disabilities
  • indigenous and traditional knowledge and nature-based solutions to disaster risk reduction

The programme includes study tours around Upolu Island in areas that were affected by the 2009 tsunami, including Aleipata and Poutasi, the Samoa National Emergency Operating Center, the Samoa Red Cross and United Nations. The study tours will give participants the chance to learn from experts in the Pacific region and the Samoa experience with best practices in disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation.


Over the 5-day programme, participants will collaborate and build supportive networks with each other and the resource persons. They will also develop disaster risk management plans based on their learnings, which they will present at the end. 

On 11 March 2023, the anniversary of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake that devastated many parts of Japan, the participants will join Yappesu, a women-led non-profit organization in Ishinomaki, Miyagi, in a virtual activity between 1:30 – 3:00 pm and will observe a minute of silence at 2:46 p.m. (local time)– the moment the earthquake hit. The organization is comprised of mothers who lead activities in learning and solving the issues that were encountered after the disaster in 2011.

Since 2016, UNITAR Division for Prosperity trains women professionals from small island developing states to help their countries and communities better prevent, prepare, confront and recover from disasters. The programme has since expanded to include all genders. This programme is financially supported by the Government and the People of Japan.


The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) is a United Nations agency that promotes decision-making for a better future through training individuals and groups. Established in 1963, UNITAR reached 370,139 learners through its courses in 2021. In addition to its headquarters in Geneva, UNITAR has offices in New York, Hiroshima, and Bonn, as well as other networks around the world. UNITAR Division for Prosperity shares world-class knowledge and skills related to entrepreneurship, leadership, trade and finance, digital technologies, and disarmament. Especially from its Hiroshima Office and in training for learners from conflict and post-conflict countries, UNITAR incorporates Hiroshima’s rise from the atomic bombing to the current peaceful city as a model of reconstruction. In 2019, the UNITAR Association was established as a public support organization in Japan. It supports UNITAR through publicity and awareness-raising in Japan.

Share with