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Statement of Mr. Ronald Jackson, Executive Director, Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency At the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction Cancun, Mexico. 22-26, May 2017


The CDEMA Coordinating Unit is pleased to participate in the 2017 Global Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction. We also express thanks to the Government of Mexico for hosting us at this important event. CDEMA, which comprises eighteen (18) Participating States (PS), has been a firm supporter of global frameworks for Disaster Risk Reduction and our commitment to implementing the results through our regional strategy for Comprehensive Disaster Management, remains steadfast.

On this important occasion, the contribution of CDEMA to this important Sendai milestone event revolves around three (3) key messages:

(PDF Version of Speech)

First, there is a need to promote a national level conversation, around the rationalization and harmonization of global and regional development agreements that seek to advance National Resilience, in an effort to facilitate effective implementation. This harmonization mechanism is particularly critical within Small-Island Developing and Low Lying Coastal States, recognizing the context of scarce resources and often stretched capacity.

The CDEMA Member Countries fully recognizes the synergistic opportunities offered by the global agreements negotiated over 2015-2016; specifically the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, The Paris Agreement on Climate Change and The Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Development Agenda. Within the CDEMA System we view the agenda for resilience as the fulcrum around which this coordination and delivery should take place and have considered this within the context of the Comprehensive Disaster Management (CDM) Strategy (2014-2024). The harmonization effort demands leadership at the highest levels in order to achieve the desired outcomes. Where this is not being driven nationally, the national disaster management leadership is being encouraged to lead in advancing this dialogue.


Secondly, accountability in the delivery of results remains a national, regional and international priority. The CDM Strategy (2014-2024) preceded the Sendai Framework and has been globally accepted through our discussions with UNISDR, as being the vehicle of the CDEMA Participating States, which will contribute to the implementation of the Sendai Framework. Whilst recognizing these complementarities, we have also sought to strengthen the alignment and harmonization. Consequently, an additional six (6) indicators emerging from the Sendai have been added to the CDM Strategy at the goal level. Analysis of the Sendai Monitor and the CDM Audit Tool, which are both tracking disaster related outputs/processes and outcomes at the national level have also demonstrated linkages in approximately 70% of the indicators.

CDEMA has also made significant investment in the development of the CDM Monitor which will be the primary repository for data from CDEMA Participating States on the advancement of the resilience agenda. CDEMA is mindful of the need to support greater efficiency in reporting by our CDEMA PS, and in this regard has been working with UNISDR to harmonize the indicators to simultaneously support monitoring, evaluation and reporting on the progress in delivering agreed results for the regional Comprehensive Disaster Management Strategy and the Sendai Framework. CDEMA is committed to strengthening the evidence-base for resilience decision making including through the institutionalization of the capture of damage and losses from small scale events. Indeed, the CDEMA CU is tracking within its CDM Strategy, an indicator which speaks to this area at the goal level. CDEMA anticipates producing the first Caribbean Assessment Report (CAR) from the CDM Monitor in December 2017 during our Caribbean Conference on Comprehensive Disaster Management in Nassau, Bahamas December 4 – 8, 2017. This will inform the first monitoring cycle of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction which is scheduled to be rolled out in January 2018. The region intends to facilitate the update of the Sendai Monitor through the data entered into the CDM Monitor.

We wish to express our thanks to the UNISDR for its commitment to this process. Our collaboration has been based on the principles of Caribbean ownership around the Comprehensive Disaster Management (CDM) as a regional brand with the agreement that the CDM advancements will contribute to the global agenda.

Building on the role played by the CDM Framework and CDM Conference in delivering on the Hyogo Framework for Action, we call on the UNISDR to recognize the CDM Strategy (2014-2024) as the Caribbean regional framework for the implementation of the Sendai Framework and CDM Conference as a Caribbean sub-regional platform to report on progress in the delivery of CDM and Sendai Results.


The third message surrounds the financing for implementation of the resilience agenda within Caribbean SIDS and Low lying Coastal States as this will require special consideration. Options for financing must be examined within the fiscal realities of our states and within the current financing environment. There is no dispute that the importance of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) financing is being reduced over time. Additionally, the World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) may have heralded a shift of resources to financing conflict driven humanitarian needs, at the expense of the broader resilience agenda. We would suggest that this requires further reflection particularly within the context of climate change. Independent reports from various sources demand a reflection on the specific nature of the Caribbean challenge.

The World Bank (WB) Annual Report 2016 suggests that challenges facing the global community threaten the hard-won development gains of recent decades and climate change could push more people into poverty. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Caribbean Human Development Report 2016 notes that vulnerabilities are increasing in the Caribbean and the region faces growing multidimensional poverty. Persistent low growth and an erosion of human development gains over the past decade, characterised by deteriorating regional human development indicators and multidimensional poverty data is evident.

The 2016 Economic Development Report of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) indicates that debt to GDP ratios in its Borrowing Member Countries (BMCs) in 2016 ranged from 33.6 – 145.3. In this scenario, there is very little space for national investment in resilience building. A further dependence on borrowing will exacerbate the existing situation and as such solutions must be sought to create the fiscal space to invest in resilience building. It is against this backdrop that the CDEMA System supports the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (UNECLAC,) in urging the exploration of a conversation on debt forgiveness in lieu of setting up national and regional resilience funds.

Further, we note that whilst there has been a commitment to further capitalization of global funding windows such as the Green Climate Fund and Adaptation Fund, it is equally important to improve access to these sources and more importantly to examine these resources within the context of the delivery of a harmonized national and resilience building programme.

In closing Chairman, CDEMA and its Member Countries reaffirms its commitment to the intent of the Sendai Framework and further commits its efforts to the realization of this intent as outlined in the Priorities for Action.

Mr. Chairman, I thank you.



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