Esteemed colleagues, it is my privilege to offer remarks at this 2015 European Union Climate Diplomacy Day Event which seeks to highlight the efforts of the EU in international climate negotiations, and its actions on mitigation and adaptation of climate change.

Good morning distinguished guests ladies and gentlemen.

I would like to formally welcome you to the ribbon cutting ceremony officially opening this brand spanking new CDEMA Headquarters. Today sees the realization of one of the dreams that has been in the making for a period of over two decades, ever since the Heads of Government of CARICOM in 1991, agreed to establish CDERA as the regional agency with responsibility for disaster management. That dream was to have a home of our very own. For full speech please click here.

Five years ago on January 12, 2010, CDEMA was called to respond to the most catastrophic event in the history of the Agency. Haiti, a member of the CDEMA family had been struck by a 7.0 magnitude earthquake. This was the strongest earthquake recorded in this part of the Caribbean region. Over 300,000 persons died and extensive damage to the capital, Port-au-Prince, and outlying districts left close to three (3) million people displaced.

Salutations:

Honorable Adriel Brathwaite, Attorney General and Minister of Home Affairs, Barbados, Honorable Ambassador Mikael Barfod - Head of the European Union Delegation to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Honorable Percival Marie, Director General, CARIFORUM, Honorable Vice Minister Office of the President of the Dominican Republic - Xoraima Cuello San-Latte, Mr. Ronald Jackson, Executive Director Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency, Members of the media, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen. Please click here for full speech.

It is my honour and privilege to give the Feature Address at this Caribbean launch of the International Day of Disaster Reduction for 2014. I wish to commence by commending the partnership between HelpAge Jamaica, the Jamaica Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) and the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) for the hosting of this commemorative event.

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