CARICOM security ministers discuss region’s crime situation

GUYANA, GINA, Monday, November 21, 2016

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) today held its Seventeenth Meeting of the Council for National Security and Law Enforcement to address the crime situation in the region.

The meeting at the CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen saw the Ministers with responsibility for national security discussing critical issues affecting the Caribbean as a whole. One of the main items on the agenda was consideration of the CARICOM Cyber Security and Cyber Crime Action Plan (CCSCAP).

Minister of Public Security Khemraj Ramjattan said that the meeting’s topics are monumental. The Minister said that the issues must be addressed in the context of CARICOM since the global crisis of violence has been woefully neglected.

“We have to create a virtual circle through programmes to create champions on the ground rather than a vicious cycle where villainy is exhaled. This will only be done, through our vice council, and meaningful decisions here,” the Minister stated.

Further, Minister Ramjattan pointed out that crime and corruption are choices, and not a culture as is believed by many in the region. The Minister noted that it is important for the council to promote the development and implementation of a common regional security strategy.

“We here must construct projects of hope and trust, and secure that freedom from violence and fear which will secure for our people in the Caribbean an opportunity to flourish and thrive, and to do so in peace,” Minister Ramjattan explained.

Meanwhile Chairman of the council, Attorney-General and Minister of Home Affairs, Barbados, Adriel Brathwaite said that the meeting comes at a critical time, noting that the region is not going in the direction it should be as it relates to national security.

Attorney-General Brathwaite said that it is regrettable that some parts of the region have made the crime situation a political one, rather than taking a collective approach to tackle the issue.

“It is not a political issue, it is an issue that is fundamental to the way of life of all of our people, and none of us can do this alone, not one party, not one government,” the chairman explained.

Brathwaite noted that at the end of the meeting, members must be able to find solutions to some of the causes of crime in the region. The chairman also urged member states to utilise the services available in fighting crime.

“Unless we are able to control crime in our individual and collective states, we are going to be challenged financially, continuously,” the chairman stated.

CARICOM Secretary General, Irwin LaRocque also reiterated the importance of working together to address the issue of national security in the region.

“The onus is on us, collectively to demonstrate that we are indeed serious about our own security,” the Secretary General stated.

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