April 2013, Merida, Mexico - The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) and the United Nations International Civil Aviation Organization, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Grupo Aeroportuario del Sureste (ASUR) Mexico, and Airports Council International inaugurated a new training centre to develop a regional training programme on Disaster Management and Airports.

From 19 to 22 March 2013, a group of experts gathered in the city of Merida, Mexico, to inaugurate the new CIFAL, the tenth training centre for local governments as part of the global UNITAR CIFAL Network.

The inaugural ceremonies were followed by a pilot training programme to discuss regional challenges, share experiences and good practices on implementing disaster preparedness and dealing with the aftermath of hurricanes in Mexico and Central America. ASUR has developed unique expertise on this area, having organised six similar international seminars on the topics of resilience and airports management.

CIFAL Merida is a new partnership between UNITAR and Grupo Aeroportuario del Sureste, Mexico, to develop capacities in Mexico and Central America on disaster risk management and tourism as a driver of economic development. The city of Merida was selected to host this new affiliated training centre upon request of the Governor of the State of Yucatan, The Hon. Ronaldo Zapata Bello, because of its strategic location and expertise in disaster risk management, given the region's proclivity to hurricanes and weather-related disasters.

The support of the private sector in hosting the new CIFAL Merida is greatly appreciated by UNITAR, especially given the fact that ASUR is a United Nations Global Compact member since 2008 and its president, Mr. Fernando Chico Pardo is a member of its Board.

For more information please contact: Mr. Oscar Carrillo atocarrillo@asur.com.mx

CIFAL Merida inauguration