Georgetown, Guyana – (January 18, 2019) Minister of State, Mr. Joseph Harmon, this afternoon, conducted a site visit of the Arthur Chung Convention Centre (ACCC) at Liliendaal, Greater Georgetown in an effort to determine its state of readiness for the hosting of the Seventeenth Session of the Committee for the Review of the Implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (CRIC 17).

The event, which will run from January 28-30, 2019, is the first time since the 1972 Non-Aligned Foreign Ministers Conference that an event of this magnitude will be held in Guyana. It also marks the first time that such an event of the UNCCD will take place in the English-speaking Caribbean.

During the tour, Minister Harmon addressed a batch of young volunteers who are being trained to work at the various events within the Conference. He noted that he hosting of CRIC 17 is a historical occasion of which Guyana must be proud.

“Guyana will be on show. It will showcase our ability to organise and manage activities of this nature. I have been to Conferences overseas and you can always see the smooth transition and I trust that the training you are receiving here will equip you with that ability to be able to seamlessly carry out your functions. I would also like to commend you for stepping forward to serve your country in this capacity,” he said.

Chief Executive Officer of the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission (GLSC), Mr. Trevor Benn who is the focal point to the UNCCD, said that 85 per cent of the works have already been completed at the location. He noted that the Commission is expecting total completion by Thursday, January 24.

Around 400-600 persons from 196 countries around the world are expected to travel to Georgetown, including UNCCD Executive Secretary, Ms. Monique Barbut and operational units from the UNCCD Secretariat and United Nations offices, UN media operatives, civil society and Inter-Governmental Organizations.

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