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Local Government leads Jamaica’s Delegation to United Nations Disaster Risk Reduction Conference in South America

Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Honourable Desmond McKenzie, is away from the island on official business.

The Minister is leading the Jamaican delegation, consisting of central Ministry officials and officials from the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), to attend the 6th Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in the Americas being held in Cartagena, Colombia.

The Conference is organized by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) and the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA). It is intended among other things, to allow government and non-government organizations, scientific and academic institutions and private sector interests among other stakeholders to share their experiences and chart the way forward as they work together to implement the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction – approved in 2015 – and to which Jamaica is a signatory.

Minister McKenzie, who is the Deputy Chairman of the National Disaster Risk Management Council, says the platform is a critical opportunity for Jamaica to provide the Sendai Framework signatory nations with an update about its disaster risk reduction efforts.

“The Government is taking important steps to improve national resilience, to ensure that we break the cycle of playing catch-up behind disasters, especially seasonal ones. This Conference allows us to share our experiences, the new things we are doing, and also to learn from the other signatory states, the scientific community and to refine our implementation strategies, as we reaffirm our commitment to making the Sendai Framework, and therefore disaster risk reduction, a standard way of life for our people.”

The Minister will return to the island on June 25, 2018.