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PM Speech on the Official Launch of the 13th Caribbean Conference on Comprehensive Disaster Management

Published 4 June 2024

Buckie Got It, St. Kitts and Nevis News Source

Prime Minister of Saint Kitts and Nevis
Honourable Dr. Terrance Drew 

Transcribed Remarks on the Official Launch of the 13th Caribbean Conference on Comprehensive Disaster Management
St. Marriott Resort, Saint Kitts and Nevis 
June 4th, 2024
 

Prime Minister Saint Kitts and Nevis the Honourable Dr. Terrance Drew delivering his address at the CDEMA 2024 Hurricane Season Press Conference and Official Launch of the 13th Caribbean Conference on Comprehensive Disaster Management


Introduction:  Reinforcing Hurricane Season Messaging

I am pleased to be a part of this momentous occasion as Saint Kitts and Nevis joins forces with the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) to host their annual hurricane season press conference and launch the upcoming Comprehensive Disaster Management (CDM) conference scheduled for December 2nd to 6th in Saint Kitts and Nevis. This launch signals our twin-island Federation’s commitment to readiness efforts and precautionary measures that can weather the potential impact of the predicted 2024 Atlantic Hurricane Season.

A few days ago, I commemorated the start of the 2024 hurricane season acutely aware that the unprecedented ocean temperatures being experienced and driven by climate change, can fuel the formation and intensity of hurricanes and tropical storms.

I underscored the critical importance of preparedness, urging citizens to develop and maintain emergency plans and stock essential supplies to mitigate the risks posed by hurricanes.  Remember that our collective strength and preparedness will be our greatest asset in facing the challenges of this hurricane season and I therefore implore you to take adequate precautions.


Message 1: Embracing CDM is the Government’s Commitment to Saving Lives, Livelihoods and facilitating Sustainable Growth

Public safety, saving lives and livelihoods, remains a top priority for this government. To this end, this government has committed to Comprehensive Disaster Management (CDM), which is the Caribbean brand of Disaster Risk Management, aligned to the global Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.

CDM is an integrated and proactive approach to disaster management and seeks to reduce the risk and loss associated with natural and technological hazards and the effects of climate change, to enhance sustainable development in St. Kitts-Nevis and the region.

We are mindful that the CDM approach empowers us to treat all hazards, not just hurricane impacts, throughout all phases of the disaster management cycle – in mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. It also involves everyone – our general population, civil society, the public & private sector, working together, to reduce and manage risks, so that people can thrive, and our development ambitions are realized.


Message 2: The CDM Conference is an Excellent Opportunity for Propelling Positive Change in St. Kitts-Nevis and the Caribbean region

And so today, I am delighted to stand here again and speak about an exciting initiative that will benefit the country of St. Kitts-Nevis.

CDEMA, in collaboration with the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis through the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), will be hosting the 13th Caribbean Conference on Comprehensive Disaster Management, more easily referred to as (CDM13) right here in St. Kitts-Nevis. CDM13 will run from December 2nd to 6th, 2024 and will be convened under the theme “CDM: The Road to Resilience Check Point 2024 – Levelling Up for a Dynamic Future”. 

Under this theme, this pivotal conference provides a comprehensive framework for strategic planning and action in the Caribbean region. By fostering dialogue, collaboration, and innovation, the conference aims to enhance disaster resilience and pave the way for a more sustainable and prosperous future for all.

The theme of this conference resonates deeply with the challenges and opportunities of our time. In an era marked by rapid technological advancements, evolving geopolitical landscapes, and shifting socioeconomic paradigms, the imperative to level up has never been more pressing. It calls upon us to adapt, to innovate, and to embrace change as a catalyst for growth and development.

At the heart of this theme lies the recognition that we cannot afford to remain stagnant in the face of uncertainty. Instead, we must harness the forces of change to propel us forward—to level up our skills, our institutions, and our societies to meet the demands of a dynamic future.

This conference will therefore serve as a platform for dialogue, exchange, and collaboration—a space where ideas are born, partnerships are forged, and solutions are crafted. It provides an invaluable opportunity for stakeholders from across sectors and disciplines to come together, to learn from one another, and to chart a course towards a future defined by resilience, sustainability, and inclusivity.

The CDM Conference, is therefore a momentous occasion, that not only promises to enhance disaster management strategies but also brings invaluable opportunities for our country and its citizens.

This conference will serve as a beacon of visibility for our nation on the international stage. As we gather distinguished guests, experts, and delegates from around the world, we showcase our commitment to effective disaster risk management and our dedication to building a safer, more resilient future.

Moreover, this event offers a unique opportunity for our youth and citizens interested in disaster management to engage with global experts, exchange ideas, and gain exposure to cutting-edge practices. By involving our youth, we empower the next generation of leaders to drive change and innovation in disaster preparedness and response.

Beyond the conference itself, we recognize the tourism potential of our beautiful island. As delegates and vendors gather here, they not only contribute to the economy but also experience firsthand the natural splendor and cultural richness that our country has to offer. This presents a win-win scenario, where businesses thrive, and visitors leave with unforgettable memories.

Since its inaugural staging in 2006, the CDM Conference has established the reputation as the Caribbean region’s largest gathering of professionals and academics in the field of disaster management. It has also attracted a following of senior officials from the public and private sectors with interest in climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction.

This year, 2024, we anticipate a successful undertaking as the first time the event will be held in its original format since COVID-19. An estimated 300 delegates and scores of participants from across the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe, Asia, and further afield are expected.


Message 3: CDEMA’s Support through CDM

As we consider this Checkpoint in CDM, I want to take the opportunity to acknowledge the direct financial contribution (USD $$164,750.36) of CDEMA over the last year to advancing disaster risk management in St. Kitts-Nevis. This support is in excess of the annual contribution provided by this country to the Agency (US $122,470.38).

We are specifically grateful for the support in enhancing our Emergency Operations Centre through the provision of communications and computer equipment for operations, Geographic Information Systems, and community resilience training to enhance national disaster response capabilities.

We also recognize the support in advancing the Safe Schools agenda and the CDM BluePrint.

As we embark on this conference as a catalyst for change, we are mindful of this successful ongoing collaboration. Together, let us seize the opportunities it presents, ensuring a brighter, safer future for all.

Thank you and see you at the Conference from December 2nd to 6th 2024.

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