January 21, 2022 6:10 pm

The VII Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction raises the curtain in Jamaica

With the COVID-19 pandemic as a backdrop, this Monday the VII Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in the Americas and the Caribbean was inaugurated in Jamaica, the regional conference aimed at increasing the resilience of communities and the environment. environment, so that they can withstand and recover from all kinds of catastrophes.

In his speech during the opening ceremony, the Prime Minister of Jamaica stressed that “with being the headquarters of what is now a virtual meeting, we are already demonstrating the indispensable skills of partnership and determination, as we experience the most pressing disaster of our time. “

The main objective of the event will be to identify how they can work more closely to reduce the risk of disasters in the region and achieve the goals established in the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, the global plan of that United Nations Office.

In addition, it is expected to discuss the challenges posed by the displacement of people and explore strategies to strengthen early warning systems, increase urban resilience and promote adequate governance, one of the pillars of the Sendai Framework.

The special representative of the General secretary of the UN and head of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, Mami Mizutori, highlighted the importance of the event for the region.

“Not only is it the first time that a Caribbean government has organized a Regional Platform, but it is also the first time that such an event has been held since the beginning of the worst disaster in the last 100 years, the COVID-19 pandemic. , which has already caused 1.5 million deaths throughout the region, “he revealed.

For his part, the Minister of Local Governments and Rural Development of Jamaica, Desmond McKenzie, said that it is of vital importance to recognize “the role, the value and the concerns” of the small island developing States of the Caribbean.

Disasters cause average annual losses that are equivalent to 2.1% of the Gross Domestic Product of the small island states of the region. McKenzie added that finding the best way to reduce risk is a challenge for everyone and that “this challenge is especially overwhelming for small island developing states”.

Regional economic losses are staggering

The Sendai Framework, a critical part of the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, recognizes that regional platforms are critical to monitoring their progress. They also help develop policies and strategies and advance mutual knowledge and learning.

During the event, the Regional Assessment Report on Disaster Risk in Latin America and the Caribbean, published earlier this year, will be analyzed. The region is one of the most disaster-prone areas in the world, as there has been 53% of all economic losses from disasters recorded in the last 20 years.

The Regional Platform will also include an intergovernmental meeting dedicated to the regional action plan on the implementation of the Sendai Framework, which is being updated with lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as a ministerial meeting.

Likewise, Kyla Gaynor, the youth ambassador of the Jamaica Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management, called for the opinions of young people during the debates, noting that “we bring additional strength to this global fight. Listen to the voice of the young ”.


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