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Caribbean form regional network for risk management and prevention
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June 8 Havana, (Granma) - UNDER the slogan "Consolidating Strengths to Reduce Vulnerabilities," member countries of the Association of Caribbean States (ACS) met in Havana to form a network to strengthen their national and regional abilities with respect to the reduction and mitigation of natural disasters, in a meeting also attended by experts from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and other UN organizations, with the support of regional organizations, donor countries and NGOs.
The three-day Workshop Seminar for National Authorities: Policies, Systems, and Experiences in Risk Management in the Caribbean was co-sponsored by the ACS, the Cuban Civil Defense System – acting as host organization – the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the UNDP. Many other UN institutions (UNICEF, PHO/WHO, WFP, FAO, UNFPA); international humanitarian organizations (International Committee of the Red Cross and the Red Crescent); the European Community Humanitarian Office (ECHO) and regional groups such as CDERA, also took part in the event.
The recently created network will have its base in Havana in recognition of the
positive practices applied by Cuba, a nation that has demonstrated its worth in
the task of saving human lives and reducing damages by way of opportune
preventative action.
The Seminar was presided over by Jan Egeland, UN deputy secretary general for humanitarian affairs; Elena Martínez, UNDP joint administrator and regional director for Latin America and the Caribbean; and Dr. Luís Carpio, ACS director of Transportation and Natural Disasters.
In their respective addresses, Egeland and Martínez from the UN and Dr. Carpio from the ACS praised the disaster prevention and mitigation system applied by Cuba, which has reduced to a minimum fatalities caused by extreme meteorological incidents.
Accompanied by Bruno Moro - the UN resident coordinator in Cuba - the UN deputy secretary general for humanitarian affairs held cordial meetings with Dr. Carlos Lage, vice president of the Council of State of Cuba, and Foreign Minister Felipe Pérez Roque.
With both leaders, Egeland discussed the international situation, with
particular reference to plans to reform the United Nations and the evolution of
the fulfillment of the Millennium Development Goals, issues that will be subject
to review at the summit scheduled to take place this September at the UN
headquarters.
Egeland thanked Cuba for its support with respect to the integrity of the United Nations and the Cuban nation’s cooperation efforts in the areas of healthcare, education, and agriculture and other Millennium Development Goals in many developing countries. Also Coordinator for Humanitarian Aid, Egeland said that he was particularly impressed by his visit to the Latin American School of Medicine, where Cuba is offering free training in medicine and its various specialties to thousands of young people from many other countries.
For her part, Elena Martínez was received by Marta Lomas, minister of foreign investment and economic cooperation, and Deputy Foreign Minister Abelardo Moreno. Both Mrs. Martínez and Mr. Egeland also met with the head of Cuba’s Civil Defense System.
At the end of the Seminar Workshop, Major General Ramón Pardo Guerra expressed his hope that with the support of this network, the Caribbean can embark on an active and efficient period with respect to natural disasters by strengthening its system of risk prevention and mitigation.
Finally, he expressed Cuba’s readiness to support this effort with all its
anti-risk preparation structures and its accumulated experiences in order to
ensure an effective reduction in the number of unnecessary deaths and damage
caused by natural phenomena.
Carib News Now is dedicated to providing news and daily updates to its customers. Now, Caribbean people where ever you maybe have an opportunity to let your voices be heard as well as share your experiences with the world. E-Mail: editor@caribnewsnow.com
NB: No part of the content on this site should be used without the written permission of the publisher. Copyright 2005, all rights reserved.

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