Friday, 25 October 2013

IN THE ZONE: Regional policymakers meet to foster collaborative humanitarian efforts in the Caribbean

ON POINT: Carby (left) and Nicholson among presenters at recent regional three-day conference.

Observing the theme "Strengthening Public and Private Partnerships Toward a Common Regional Platform for Humanitarian Action," the 2013 Regional Meeting on International Humanitarian Assistance Mechanisms was convened at the Jamaica Conference Centre (JCC) from Oct. 16-18. 

Highlights included a session centred on collaborative humanitarian efforts. "One of the biggest challenges we face in this regard is the disconnect between research and risk management, which needs to be bridged," said Dr. Barbara Carby, the former ODPEM boss now aligned with the UWI Mona campus. "Will climate change result in the ability of regional players to give humanitarian aid and the level of assistance they used to? And what does this mean in the global arena? Today more opportunities exist for regional collaboration in humanitarian assistance." 

Among the other speakers: Jamaica's Minister of Foreign Affairs A.J. Nicholson ("We cannot wait until a disaster strikes. It's our duty as policymakers to make the Caribbean disaster-resilient and validate the work of NGO's like World Vision Mexico, which Jamaican supports."); Ambassador Mexico Gerardo Lozano; Richard Thompson, ODPEM's Acting Director General; and members of the Jamaica Red Cross, who launched their 2013 international Disaster Response Law, Rules and Principles (IDRL) manual.

The three-day event also featured the adoption of the Kingston Declaration and Action Plan and the launch of the World Disaster Report.

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