The Ministry of Home Affairs Transportation and Communication is pleased to announce that the Turks and Caicos Islands is the new Chair of the CDEMA Council of Ministers. Minister with responsibility for disaster management, Hon. Vaden Delroy Williams MHA assumed the role of Chairperson to the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) at its 8th Council Meeting which was held in Montego Bay, on Wednesday, July 4, 2018. This meeting was preceded by a two-day Pre-Council Symposium of the Council of Ministers of the CDEMA which was held on July 2-3, to create a space where policy makers, technocrats and operational actors exchanged perspectives and ideas on the issues, challenges and options for building regional resilience in the face of existing hazards; in an effort to prevent or reduce future risks and vulnerabilities.
CDEMA is a regional inter-governmental agency for disaster management in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). The Agency was established in 1991 as CDERA (Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Agency) with primary responsibility for the coordination of emergency response and relief efforts to its 18 Participating States when assistance is required. It transitioned to CDEMA in 2009 to fully embrace the principles and practice of Comprehensive Disaster Management (CDM).
The eighteen (18) Participating States are Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Commonwealth of the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Republic of Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts & Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Suriname, Republic of Trinidad & Tobago, Turks & Caicos Islands and the Virgin Islands.
In his opening remarks Hon. Williams thanked the outgoing Chair (Antigua and Barbuda) for their contribution to the Council as well as members for the opportunity to serve in this capacity. He also sought the support of members during his tenure which he noted is vital to achieving the goals and objectives of the Council. Hon. Williams further thanked CDEMA and countries in the region that supported recovery efforts in the Turks and Caicos Islands in the immediate aftermath of hurricanes Irma and Maria. As Chair, the Turks and Caicos Islands will be hosting the 9th CDEMA Ministerial Council Meeting next year.
Other delegates representing Turks and Caicos Islands at the 8th CDEMA Council Ministerial Meeting are Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs Transportation and Communication, Mrs. Clara Gardiner OBE and Director for the Department for Disaster Management and Emergencies, Dr. Virginia Clerveaux.
Hon. Williams will be supported in his new role by newly appointed Deputy Chairperson, Hon. Joseph Isaac MP, Minister of the Environment, Climate Resilience, Disaster Management and Urban Renewal in Dominica.
Hon. Vaden Delroy Williams MHA – New Chairman of CDEMA Ministerial Council
Head of Delegation – 8th CDEMA Council of Ministers Meeting July 4, 2018 Montego Bay, Jamaica