Organisers of the 7th Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in the Americas and the Caribbean have postponed the event to a date to be announced.
The announcement was made by Minister of Local Government and Community Development and Chairman of the Planning Committee, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, after discussions with Platform stakeholders and members of the coordinating bodies.
“The decision to postpone the 7th Regional Platform was taken in light of the global pandemic that is the novel corona virus. The health and safety of not just the Jamaican people but the delegates that would be attending from the wider region had to be taken into consideration. We regret having to postpone the event but when hazards such as this presents itself, it cannot be business as usual. Our focus is now on controlling the virus to reduce its spread,” Minister McKenzie said.
The Regional Platform, which was scheduled for July in Montego Bay, St. James, was being organised by the Government of Jamaica, the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), and the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA).
Jamaica will be the first Caribbean country to host the Regional Platform and has already instituted significant changes such as an amendment to the conference name and the inclusion of a youth forum on the agenda.
“We are very proud of the work we have already done for this Platform and we are looking at possible dates to move it to. Once we have jointly settled on a date, that announcement will be made. We are taking this time to ensure that when we do stage the event, it will be the best one yet,” Minister McKenzie said.