At the request of Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Western Hemisphere Affairs Daniel P. Erikson, the William J. Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies hosted the Ad Hoc Working Group on Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief in preparation for the XV Conference of Defense Ministers of the Americas (CDMA). Delegations from 22 countries from the hemisphere convened on February 16 for two days of discussion on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Armed Forces, the role of the Armed Forces in responding to natural disasters and weather-related events, the potential for increased regional collaboration on HA/DR, and the implications of climate change for defense and security institutions. The delegates produced a joint declaration outlining conclusions and recommendations for consideration by ministers at the July 2022 Conference.
This is the third time the Perry Center has hosted an Ad-Hoc Working Group for CDMA. In the previous two cycles, the Perry Center hosted the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Evolving Role of the Armed Forces. CDMA first convened in Williamsburg, VA in 1995. The concept for the William J. Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies came out of that initial meeting. The Perry Center was inaugurated in 1997 and will celebrate its 25th anniversary this September.