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Friday, January 20, 2006 

Caribbean committee to extend its work in disaster assessment
by Stephen Cummings
Caribbean Net News Trinidad Correspondent
Email: stephen@caribbeannetnews.com

Friday, January 20, 2006

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad: The Government of Trinidad and Tobago has called on the Secretariat of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and the Caribbean Development and Cooperation Committee (CDCC) to continue its efforts in the area of policy research, aimed at reducing the vulnerability of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) of the Caribbean.

In a Resolution, which was tabled by Trinidad and Tobago, at the 21st Session of the Caribbean Development and Cooperation Committee (CDCC) held January 16 and 17 in Port of Spain, it was agreed that strategies and solutions to address the problems that render our societies borderless, like drugs, crime and poverty, need to come from within the societies. It was agreed that the solutions should also acknowledge and respect cultural diversity and historical sameness.

Five Resolutions were adopted at the end of the 21st Session, with each designed to ensure that issues of concern to the Caribbean region are given consideration by the United Nations system.
Participants also agreed to form a regional coordinating mechanism for sustainable development in the Caribbean, which would mobilise the necessary resources to support the implementation of the Caribbean Small Island Developing States (SIDS) programme.

On the issue of the negative impact that natural disasters pose to Caribbean societies, it was agreed that ECLAC/CDCC extend its work in disaster assessment in close cooperation with the Caribbean Disaster and Emergency Response Agency (CDERA) and other relevant regional institutions, to include risk reduction with the objective of strengthening the resilience of the people and societies.

The five Resolutions will be reported to the 31st session of ECLAC, which will be held in March 2006, in Montevideo, Uruguay. Once adopted, these Resolutions will form part of ECLAC's upcoming work programme.

The CDCC, an intergovernmental body, is a subsidiary organ of the United Nations' Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and has 23 members, including all countries of the Caribbean Community and Cuba, Dominican Republic, Aruba, Netherlands Antilles, Puerto Rico and both the US and British Virgin Islands.

The Committee meets once every two years and during this Session, Foreign Affairs Minister, Senator Knowlson Gift was appointed Chairman, succeeding Carlyle Corbin, Minister of State for External Affairs of the United States Virgin Islands.

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