Wednesday, 19 March 2014

EU lending support

Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Barbados and
the Eastern Caribbean, Ambassador Mikael Barfod, addressing
the meeting of the Council of Ministers of the RSS.
THE Regional Security System (RSS) has been earmarked to benefit from a 1.2 million euro grant from the European Union (EU).

Word of this came on Friday morning from the Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Ambassador Mikael Barfod, during an address to the Council of Ministers Meeting of the RSS at the Hilton Hotel.

He stated that the overall objective of the grant is to strengthen the region’s institutional capacity and response to reduce drug demand, prevent crime and violence and combat illicit drug trafficking.

To that end, he indicated that the programme is intended to strengthen the capacities of law enforcement and border security personnel to deal with illicit trafficking in the Member States of the RSS; and to enhance existing rehabilitation projects in correctional facilities for drug offenders, and to provide them with alternative skills.

Additionally, the EU representative explained that the innovative programme will also support public awareness about key law enforcement issues, such as drug enforcement and human rights issues in the Member States.

“The programme will complement the support provided by Canada for the setting up of a training academy… We hope this project could be a catalyst for increased co-operation amongst RSS Member States, partner countries and key regional partners. I hope that the programme will liaise with the EU Safety and Security programme in St. Kitts and Nevis, building on technical expertise on national security, as well as using the National Security Training Centre,” he added.

His comments came as he noted that for the EU, security intervention is considered as one of the priorities for future intervention in the Caribbean and Latin America. He said that the EU already supports regional programmes such as Ameripol and AIRCOP, which are aimed at enhancing cross border collaboration.

Barfod added that the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) will this year roll out its Crime and Security Programme valued at 12.6 million euros, to support several stakeholders in the region, including CARIFORUM, IMPACS, the RSS and the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force.

Moreover, he said the EU is arranging to allocate another 45.5 million euros for the 11th EDF with CARIFORUM. He said the focus will be on supporting crime prevention, restorative justice, improving citizen security and the fight against financial crimes. (JRT)

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