Federation represented at Caribbean Basin Security Initiative in Jamaica

National Security Minister, Senator Dwight Nelson (left), shares pleasantries with (from 2nd left): Permanent Secretary, Ministry of National Security, St. Kitts and Nevis, Astonia Browne; United States Charge D’ Affaires in Jamaica, Isaiah Parnell; and Deputy Assistant Secretary, United States Department of State, Julissa Reynoso, during the opening ceremony of the inaugural two-day meeting of the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI) Commission, at the Wyndham Hotel, New Kingston, on November 3.

ST. KITTS, NOVEMBER 6, 2010 (CUOPM) – St. Kitts and Nevis was represented at the inaugural meeting of the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI) Commission, at the Wyndham Hotel, New Kingston, Jamaica by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Security, Mrs. Astona Browne.

Over 20 national security officials and delegates from several North and Central American countries, including the United States, CARICOM and the Dominican Republic met to discuss matters pertaining to crime and violence impacting the region, and possible collaborative solutions to effectively address them.

“Crime and violence (in) the Caribbean community is fast becoming an overwhelming phenomenon, almost beyond the capacity of the individual national forces, to cope with. This is a reality which administrations throughout the region have been forced to wrestle with,” said Jamaica’s Minister of National Security, Sen. Dwight Nelson, who lamented the ‘terrifying reality’ that the incidence of crime in the Caribbean is on the increase, a development not lost on regional Heads of government.

Senator Nelson cited the drug trade as one of the main areas that has “spawned” much of the wave of criminal activities. He argued that narcotics related murders, aggravated burglaries and assaults, and kidnapping and trafficking in persons, “have taken on new dimensions in the region.”

Noting the Jamaican government’s concurrence with United States President, Barack Obama’s sentiments that too many residents in the Americas currently live in fear, Senator Nelson gave the assurance that the administration is committed to the sustained peace, security and safety of the region, “and continues to pledge its unyielding support to the cause.”

“The President asserted that something must be done to effectively minimise this level of fear. The Jamaican government shares the sentiment that violence and insecurity can no longer be tolerated in the Caribbean region. If we do nothing, CARICOM states are likely to be overrun by criminal activities in the decades ahead, unless the problem is addressed now, urgently and comprehensively,” the Minister asserted.

In this regard, Senator Nelson said the CBSI is a welcomed input, arguing that the region needs the assistance offered by the initiative to help in ridding it of the “scourge of criminality in its many manifestations,” through the formulation and implementation of new policies to control and prevent crime.

Delegates, at the invitation of Senator Nelson, observed one minute’s silence in memory of late Prime Minister of Barbados, David Thompson.

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