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Remarks of the Executive Director, CDEMA at the Closing Ceremony of the Seventh (7th) Annual Caribbean Conference on CDM Hilton Rose Hall, Montego Bay Jamaica


Ladies and gentlemen at the Opening Session I referred to the seven-year marital itch and the recognition that once properly managed the outcome can be a prolonged productive and prosperous relationship.Today, I feel that the Comprehensive Disaster Management (CDM) Conference has put in place the requisite counselling and mitigation measures to ensure its continuity and growth.  The resolve by countries and partners to strengthen this CDM movement through the adaptation and/or development of appropriate policy, programme and resource mobilization is noted.

I note in particular the recognition of the need for Participating States (PS) to revisit the institutional framework and modes of engagement in addressing the big challenges of creating resilient states.  Especially noted is the commitment of partners to structure their support for PS and regional articulated priority needs.

The blueprint outlined for reviewing the CDM Strategy and Programme of work has been embraced.  The diligence in conversion to measures and programmes that meet resilience standards is now our responsibility.  Ownership of this is an important and indispensable step in any efforts to explore and build synergies with other regions or engage in international discourse.

In all of this, I see an inescapable urgency to address the human dimension of Disaster risk Reduction (DRR).  At the most basic level this has to do with ensuring that the national DRR focal points have the mix of competencies necessary to carry out their mandates.  At the same time as the effort to move toward a whole of government and whole of country approach to DRR there must be a radical shift from human resource management to human resource development for the sector.

What we must continually guard against is the situation where the buy-in and resourcing of our agenda is not matched by our capacity to deliver.

The growth of the youth and community representation in the Conference is noted.  We must be innovative in ways in which we seek to continue their engagement to sustain pre and post conference exchanges.  This is a virgin minefield that if well managed can provide the raw material for building resilience communities for generations to come.

I leave this forum with the comfort that the community of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) practitioners and other actors are fully resolved to raise this child.

What I am more concerned about is the future in which it will have to operate.  To this end we all look forward to the outcome of the ongoing evaluation of this conference and the recommendations for strengthening.

CDM Seven (7) and the six (6) other conferences that went before could not have been without the support of many partners.

CDM Seven (7), I am told, matched last year’s conference with approximately four hundred (400) registered participants from fifty (50) countries coming from all parts of the world.  Even with the late start, this says we have something going on.

We are committed to confirming the host country and facility by end of March 2012, at the latest.  This gives us more time to plan for the enrichment of the CDM Conference experience.

As I close let me acknowledge those who have supported CDM Seven (7)

  1. Australian Agency for International Development 
  2. Canadian International Development Agency
  3. UK Government’s Department for International Development
  4. Comprehensive Disaster Management (CDM) Harmonised Implementation Programme
  5. European Union
  6. African Caribbean and Pacific – European Union
  7. Disaster Risk Management Programme
  8. U.S. Agency for International Development’s Office of the U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA)
  9. United Nations Development Programme
  10. Government of Italy
  11. Caribbean Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology
  12. Enhancing Resilience to Reduce Vulnerability in the Caribbean Project
  13. The Regional Risk Reduction Initiative
  14. The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction
  15. Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility
  16. American Airlines
  17. Apparel Etc.
  18. Blueprint Creative
  19. Caribbean Airlines
  21. Columbus Business Solutions
  22. Disaster Preparedness ECHO (DIPECHO)
  23. Express Litho Ltd
  24. Hilton Rose Hall Resort & Spa
  25. Kariblink
  26. Jamaica Audio Visual Company Limited (JAVCO)
  27. Jamaica National Building Society
  28. Jamaica National General Insurance
  29. Jamaica Tourist Board
  30. Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade
  31. Ministry of Local Government and Community Development, Jamaica
  32. Pan-American Health Organsiation (PAHO)
  33. Supreme Outdoor Advertising
  34. The Federative Republic of Brazil
  35. Tropical Tours
  36. Speakers, Moderators and Poster Presenters
  37. Youth from the Caribbean
  38. Mt Alvernia, Herbert Morrison High and Montego Bay High Schools, Jamaica

Special thanks are extended to the conference team, comprised of staff members from the CDEMA Coordinating Unit, the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management and partnering agencies, whose contributions made this conference possible.



CDEMA Annual Reports