The ICG/IOTWS is subsidiary body of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and was formed in response to the tragic tsunami on December 26th 2004, in which over 250,000 lives were lost around the Indian Ocean region. The ICG/IOTWS acts to coordinate tsunami warning and mitigation activities in countries around and within the Indian Ocean.
Following the Indian Ocean Tsunami of December 26th 2004, the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC-UNESCO) received a mandate from the international community to coordinate the establishment of the System. The structure of the group was determined during the course of several international and regional meetings, including the World Conference on Disaster Reduction (Kobe, Japan, 18 – 22 January 2005), and the Phuket Ministerial Meeting on Regional Cooperation on Tsunami Early Warning Arrangements (Phuket, Thailand, 28 and 29 January 2005).
The IOC Assembly, during its twenty-third Session (21-30 June 2005), formally established the ICG/IOTWS as a subsidiary body of the IOC through Resolution IOC-XXIII-12.
The ICG/IOTWS consists of 28 IOC Member States from around the Indian Ocean. All other Members of the IOC, as well as relevant concerned international and regional organisations, are welcome to participate as observers. The ICG meets regularly to establish and implement working plans in the Indian Ocean. The next meeting is scheduled for late 2014. Details will be available on this site shortly.
The Terms of Reference for the ICG/IOTWS outline the role and responsibilities of the group. The Secretariat for the ICG/IOTWS is based in Perth, Australia, and is funded by the Australian Government.
Aerial view of the vast destruction of the Indonesian coast caused by the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004. UN Photo/E. Schneider