Sunday 9 August, 2020

Youth forum to be added to disaster risk conference set for July

Jamaica will be adding a Youth Forum as a special feature of the Seventh Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in the Americas and the Caribbean, to be held from July 7 to 10.

“We are introducing, for the first time, a youth forum of the disaster risk conference. We have placed that on the agenda to be one of the improvements that we are making to a United Nations conference,” Local Government and Community Development Minister,  Desmond McKenzie said recently.

“Usually, you would have an individual speaking either at the opening or closing session, reflecting issues surrounding young people, but this is going to be the very first time in the history of the platform that there will be an entire day dedicated to them,” the Minister said.

The Seventh Regional Platform will take place at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St. James. More than 350 youth participants are anticipated for the forum, which will be completely run by youth, giving them the opportunity to express what they believe are the best disaster response methods for the country and the region.

Mr McKenzie said that the inclusion of youth came from the issues raised by participants in the Ministry’s Youth Summer Employment Programme and Youth Mayors’ Fora.

“We have used many of our young people to provide us with information as it relates to disaster within the country. A lot of the young people spoke about the issue of disaster preparedness. So, following those discussions with them, we thought it fit to have a youth forum because of the interest in it,” the Minister explained.

The Minister pointed out that a statement from the youth forum will form part of the Montego Bay declaration to come out of the Regional Platform.

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