Hon Shawn Edward Leads CARICOM Call for Accelerated Action on Disaster Risk Reduction at the United Nations
New York, NY (May 19, 2023) – At the High-Level Meeting on the Midterm Review of the Sendai Framework held from 18-19 May 2023, at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, Hon Shawn Edward, Minister with responsibility for Sustainable Development and current Chairman of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), highlighted to the General Assembly, the core regional priorities around disaster risk reduction.
He noted the Caribbean’s increasing vulnerability to disaster risks, particularly in the realms of climate change, existing high debt levels as well as being small and open economies, highly susceptible to external shocks, limiting national and regional capacities to adequately prepare and respond to disasters.
Minister Edward emphasised the need for targeted actions, including around early warning systems, improving disaster preparedness and response plans, training and capacity building in emergency responses, building up emergency supplies and infrastructure, as well as establishing systems to coordinate disaster response efforts.
This High-Level Meeting also saw the adoption of a political declaration by member states as a renewal of commitments and to accelerate the implementation of the Sendai Framework up to 2030.
In addition to Minister Edward’s participation in other high-level dialogues, in his capacity as Minister with responsibility for Education, Innovation, Science, Technology, and Vocational Training, positive discussions were held with officials from the UN Office of Human Resources (OHR), initiating efforts towards strengthening Saint Lucia’s recruitment into the UN system through the Ministry and local education institutions.
View Hon Shawn Edward’s address to the General Assembly here: