Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Keep threats at bay

The safety and security of people and the viability of regional economies rest with the ability of countries to maintain peaceful, safe, secure and stable environments.

So says Prime Minister of Barbados and Chairman of the Regional Security System’s (RSS) Council of Ministers, Freundel Stuart. He was speaking at the opening of a meeting of that grouping last Friday morning at the Hilton Barbados, as he sought to explain why, despite the current economic challenges, it would not be prudent to reduce or eliminate subscriptions to the Regional Security System (RSS).

Executive Director of the RSS, Grantley Watson (left), and
Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the RSS, Prime Minister
Freundel Stuart speaking prior to the start of last Friday's meeting.
Stuart told the gathering, which included the Prime Ministers of Grenada and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, as well as other National Security Ministers of RSS Member States, that national
security is an inescapable responsibility of the modern state.

With that in mind, he warned that if countries are unable at the national and sub-regional levels to achieve such environments, the result would be unsafe, insecure and destabilised environments for their people, which would no doubt make them unattractive and unwelcoming to visitors and investors.

Prime Minister of Grenada, Dr. Keith Mitchell and Prime
Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves
share a laugh before engaging the business of the RSS.
Reflecting on the establishment of the RSS in the 1980s, when East-West political tension resulted in some cases of political instability in the region, Prime Minister Stuart maintained that while many of the old threats have vanished, they have been replaced by new ones.

“Trafficking in illegal narcotics and firearms, money laundering, trafficking in human beings, cyber-crime and the criminal activity associated with these phenomena are now considered to constitute the greatest threats to security in our region, and indeed the wider Caribbean, as was recently confirmed by the CANSEC Conference in Santo Domingo. The criminally minded are sharing information rapidly and have developed a capacity to move relatively freely across borders. Recent instances of theft from ATMs, allegedly perpetrated by visitors from very distant lands are an example,” said the Chairman of the RSS Council of Ministers .

He contended that regional law enforcement and security forces must be prepared “to mount a resolute and enduring defence” against threats to their collective safety, stability, way of life and well-being. He said the region cannot allow crime, violence and the violation of our “porous borders” by drug traffickers to prevail and to win. To that end, he indicated that to effectively counter such threats, the personnel in the various border control and law enforcement agencies must be sufficiently knowledgeable and skilled in the principles of the necessary counter-measures and, as such, he maintained that training is a key priority.

“The RSS is a unique regional organisation conceived, established and developed by our own people. There is no other organisation in the region with the capabilities and services that the RSS can provide, including a commitment to having boots on the ground in short order when the need arises in any one of our Member States,” he added.

Prime Minister Stuart stated that the RSS has a major role to play in the provision of advice on security and in the provision of training and so he lauded the current directorship for the continuation of the entity’s vision to build capacity within, and for the service of its stakeholders, through the establishment of the Regional Security System Training Institute. (JRT)

No comments:

Post a Comment