Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee yesterday declared that he was optimistic that improved law enforcement would stem drug trafficking, as the US and Caribbean finalised preparations for an upcoming regional security dialogue.
“The drug traffickers will always seek to find new innovative ways to get their cargo out of any jurisdiction so let us not be naive about this, Rohee said at a news conference at the end of the two-day meeting of Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI) Commission at the Guyana International Conference Centre at Liliendaal.
“They will work hard and do whatever they can to achieve that objective. However, I’m optimistic… the basis for this optimism is that law enforcement is increasing everyday in cooperation at the domestic level and international level,” he added.
Minister Rohee, during his remarks, noted that the government hosted the CBSI Commission meeting in part because of its solidarity and support for the other CARICOM member states and the Dominican Republic, which are beneficiaries of the partnership.
“We are also pleased to have hosted the second conference because we in Guyana would like to demonstrate the understanding of the current atmosphere, with respect to the upcoming general elections, we can still proceed with business as usual,” Rohee further stated.
Julissa Reynoso, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Central America and the Caribbean in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs at the Department of State, said that they have been able to share their ideas, discuss many topics and she noted that it can be agreed that the two days were well spent.
“Over the past two days, the partners of CBSI have discussed the progress we have made in the areas of law enforcement information sharing, crime prevention and maritime security,” she explained.
These discussions, she stated, reaffirm the regional security priorities the countries had identified and will be used as guidance in developing a plan which will be used in moving forward to address areas of need.
She said since the first CBSI Commission meeting, which was hosted last year in Jamaica, with the sharing of information, those who traffic drugs, weapons and human beings, now have fewer places to hide.
Also, Reynoso reassured that the US and Guyana will continue to cooperate in the worldwide fight against terrorism. “We are pleased that Guyana has taken steps in an affirmative manner against terrorism, such as passing legislations…” she noted.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Security, St. Kitts and Nevis, Astonia Browne, representing CARICOM, said that she was pleased to report that they have come to the end of the business sessions of the commission, which have been quite productive.
She indicated that after concluding last year’s meeting, CBSI had identified and clarified the role of the commission.
“We agreed that the commission shall be responsible for facilitating the dialogue and its preparation, monitoring and evaluating the implementation process,” she said.
The general area of focus reflected in the declaration of principles are law enforcement information sharing, which is fundamental to successful and effective law enforcement strategies and operations, Browne explained.
Another area of interest, she said, is the law enforcement cooperation and capacity building. “This area of focus is critical to our efforts in culturing security challenges,” she noted.
Browne stated that areas that provide a platform for a productive approach to crime prevention and youth employment are crime prevention by focusing on youth, working on education, workforce development, drug demand reduction and juvenile justice reform.
She further spoke of a recent conference which was focused on Guyanese and how mobilized support can be sought to prevent youths from becoming engaged in criminal activities.
Browne said the cooperation from private companies and the government is needed to have programmes put in place which will assist young people in turning away from a life of crime.
Unfortunately, she said, with regards to employment, many youths are seeking to venture out in small businesses but they are still looking at ways to assist them in that regard.
“The vision of sustaining what we have already commenced here and the prospects of strengthening regional corporation will be our major focus.
We will maintain our vision, we will sustain our level of cooperation as we move forward united in our powers to pursue common security interest,” Browne added.