The United Nations Secretary-General launched the 2023 Global Status Report on Multi-Hazard Early Warning Systems at COP28 UAE.

The report concludes that whilst more lives than ever before are being protected by early warning systems, there are still significant gaps, with many around the world still lacking access to fully proficient systems. The report analyses global progress on the early warnings for all initiatives, which aims to cover everyone by 2027. The report shows that the UK has self-reported to have a comprehensive multi-hazard early warning system with regards to two of the four pillars: (i) risk knowledge and (ii) observation and forecasting, but currently lacks a comprehensive approach to the additional two pillars of (iii) warning dissemination and communication and (iv) preparedness and response capabilities.

When the findings are compared and contrasted to the 2022 report, the UK was reported in 2022 as having a multi-hazard early warning system, despite the UK’s national emergency alert system only coming online in 2023. The further breakdown into the comprehensiveness analysis is a valuable addition to the report to identify gaps within existing systems. The report makes several recommendations to address gaps and shortfalls in early warning capabilities.

The government tested its new National Emergency Alert system in April 2023, the challenges of which have been detailed and discussed in the article by Michael Hallowes for the NPC titled Will UK Police and Fire Services ever use ‘Emergency Alert’?

The UNDRR has published an Inclusive early warning early action: checklist and implementation guide to ensure that the key elements of early warning systems are people-cantered and tailored to the specific needs of various groups.


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