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Councillors to attend regional confab on disaster risk reduction

Friday, October 18, 2019

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MINISTER of Local Government and Community Development Desmond McKenzie says all councillors from municipalities across the island are expected to participate in the upcoming Seventh Regional Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction in the Americas and the Caribbean (RP20).

The three-day event, which is slated to be held at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St James from July 8 to 10 next year, is being organised by the Ministry of Local Government.

“We are expecting that all councillors will register for the conference,” McKenzie said. The minister was addressing a St Ann Municipal Corporation meeting at the municipality's offices in St Ann's Bay, recently.

“The conference will showcase Jamaica as one of the leaders of disaster (preparedness in the region), given that this region (Caribbean) is in the top-three most vulnerable [for disasters] in the world,” McKenzie said.

Meanwhile, the minister told councillors in attendance that the Inter-Ministerial Committee, which is planning the event, has been working closely with the United Nations (UN). He said that representatives from the UN are expected to be in Jamaica this week to finetune the agenda for the conference, adding that, so far, the UN has been impressed with the pace of planning.

McKenzie also announced that the ministry plans to have several young persons working at the event as volunteers. The impact of climate change on the Caribbean will be among the topical issues examined and discussed at the RP20.

The theme for the conference is 'Building Resilient Economies in the Americas and the Caribbean'. Close to 1,600 delegates from more than 60 countries are expected to participate in the event, which is being hosted in the Caribbean for the first time.

Regional platforms are United Nations Office on Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) conferences that bring together government officials and heads of disaster and emergency management agencies within a region with key stakeholders in disaster risk reduction, to foster collaboration and the sharing of best practices and techniques.


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