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J'can youth to be on show at 2020 Regional Platform

BY HORACE HINES
Observer staff reporter
hinesh@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, November 22, 2019

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MONTEGO BAY, St James — The country's 14 youth mayors will be among the nation's youth on show during the United Nations (UN) seventh Regional Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction conference to be hosted by Jamaica next year.

The three-day conference, scheduled for July 8 to 10, 2020 in Montego Bay, St James, will review progress made on reducing disaster losses in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Delivering the keynote address at the second staging of the Youth Mayors' Forum, an activity of Local Government and Community Month 2019, at the St James Municipal Corporation in Montego Bay on Wednesday, Minister of Local Government and Community Development Desmond McKenzie revealed that the UN accepted his proposal for Jamaican youngsters to participate in the conference. He said, too, that they have agreed to stage a youth forum on disaster risk reduction on July 7, 2020.

“I suggested to the United Nations when they were here a couple weeks ago, that our young people in Jamaica, through the various interactions, have shown a deep interest in disaster resilience. Normally, when you go to these conferences you have a one person come up and that one person will represent young people, as they put it, and that one person will make a contribution. But I have suggested to them that I am not in the one-person situation, and I have put to the United Nations, through UNICEF (United Nations Children's Fund), and they have now accepted that on the 7th of July, here in Montego Bay, we will be hosting a youth forum on disaster risk reduction. Only young people will be participating in that conference,” McKenzie said.

He told the youth mayors that it will be the first time that the UN will be hosting the Regional Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction conference outside of Latin America.

“Jamaica has been fortunate to have been nominated to host the seventh Regional Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction,” McKenzie noted.

“Over 1,500 delegates are coming from over 50 countries, not only countries within the region of Latin America and the Caribbean, but also from outside of our region,” he continued.

The Government minister argued that, based on the impressive presentations from the youth mayors at Wednesday's Youth Mayors' Forum, he is confident that they will be good ambassadors for Jamaica.

“We are already in the planning stages of it (conference) and we want it to be a success. Your participation here and in the general discussions that have taken place at the level of our young people, I believe that we will be successful in this conference,” McKenzie said.

The youth mayors were tasked with sharing a presentation surrounding this year's theme, 'Building Resilient Communities through Local Governance'.


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