Basseterre, St. Kitts, October 27, 2017 (SKNIS): At the recently concluded Sixth Meeting of the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI) Commission, the St. Kitts and Nevis delegation focused on crime prevention and climate-related challenges. National Security Advisor, Major General (Ret.) Stewart Saunders presented on both areas, which were adopted as items for the agenda of the meeting upon the suggestion of the St. Kitts-Nevis delegation.
The CBSI Commission Meeting was held at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort on October 26 and 27. It was chaired by Osmond Petty, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Security.
The CBSI brings members of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Dominican Republic together to collaborate on regional security with the United States as a partner.
Where crime prevention is concerned, General Saunders said that they were looking to find workable solutions to address a number of issues, such as how information and intelligence are being shared within states and across the region.
“We are confronted with a number of issues, whether it be illegal arms, drugs, ammunition, that sort of stuff. We’re also confronted with the core questions of how we rehabilitate persons, and what social intervention programs are necessary,” General Saunders said.
On the matter of climate-related challenges, he reported that 2017 is officially one of the most active years where hurricanes or monster storms are concerned.
“We have to look at ways and means in which we can better protect or secure our human capital, which is the greatest resource that we have in the region. We have to ensure that we have certain systems in place that allow for continuous governance…immediately after a hurricane has passed so that things can be put back on stream again as early as possible thereafter,” the General stressed.
He said that the region also needed to give greater consideration to provisions made for taking care of vulnerable groups, such as the elderly.
“We have to decide now ways to prevent situations that we are faced with, whether countries have to look into providing…proper shelters as part and parcel of their…infrastructure to preserve the safety and security of the people,” Saunders added.
The U.S. and Caribbean countries have identified three core objectives to deal with the threats facing the Caribbean: (1) Substantially Reduce Illicit Trafficking through programs ranging from counternarcotics to reducing the flow of illegal arms/light weapons; (2) Increase Public Safety and Security through programs ranging from professionalizing law enforcement institutions through technical assistance and training, to improving rule of law by supporting the development of the justice sector and (3) Promote Social Justice through crime prevention activities in targeted communities, police and justice sector reform, anti- corruption programs, and increased educational, economic and social opportunities for at-risk youth, according to the U.S. Department of State website.