T&T to host CARICOM security meeting

Prime Minister Dr the Honourable Keith Rowley, Chairman of the CARICOM Council for National Security and Law Enforcement

The Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago wishes to advise that this country will host the Nineteenth (19th) Special Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community on Security on May 03, 2019 in Port of Spain.

The Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Dr. the Honourable Keith Rowley, acting in his capacity as Chairman of the CARICOM Council for National Security and Law Enforcement (CONSLE) will lead the meeting which will welcome to Trinidad and Tobago a number of distinguished Heads of Government and Delegates from across CARICOM.

The Meeting will focus on recommitted efforts of the various stakeholders for implementing the Regional Security Framework.

The establishment of the CONSLE was agreed upon in July 2005 at the Conference of Heads of Government 26th meeting in St. Lucia and a comprehensive agenda for the Council was laid out at the Conference’s 13th Special Meeting in Trinidad and Tobago in April 2008.

The overall purpose of the Nineteenth (19th) Special Meeting on Security is to foster mutual knowledge, analysis, debate and exchange of ideas and experiences on security related matters in attempts to better contribute to the safety and security of member states at the regional level.

These issues include but are not limited to trans-national crime, terrorism, cybercrime, narco - and gun trafficking, trafficking in persons, intelligence cooperation between member states and the Region’s capability to analyze, predict and respond proactively to organized criminal networks.

Regional Leaders have been sounding the alarm for some time now that Member-States are vulnerable to criminal elements who are no respecters of sovereign borders or countries’ right to safety and security.

Gang violence and high homicide rates continue to be of concern not only to Trinidad and Tobago but other member-states, as well, who are facing their own challenges both internally and from external threats.

Recent events in in the region makes this high-level security meeting even more relevant and comes at a time when crime has become one of the main challenges threatening economies and livelihoods in Caribbean countries.

Among the agenda items for the upcoming meeting are:

-  The review of a rapid response mechanism to include the development of investigative teams to assist Member States with (covert or overt) intelligence-led operations and legal teams to assist in the strengthening of prosecution capabilities of perpetrators of transnational organized crime.

- Considerations for standardized vetting of security personnel as part of strengthening of the security mechanisms in Member States.

Discussions on advantages of ballistic information networks to be used by the Region.

-Considerations for the current status of legal security instruments including the “Protocol Amending the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas to incorporate the CONSLE as an Organ of the Community and IMPACS as an Institution of the Community”

-Critical recommendations for the adoption by Conference of key studies and fora involving youth in crime. Focus will be on operations of gangs and prescriptions for solutions and mainstreaming the participation of youth in the development of the solutions.  Recommendations from the CONSLE for best practices on strengthening resiliencies and reducing vulnerabilities will be presented. This will include endorsement of data management protocols for adoption by the Region.

-Review of strategic initiatives for engagement with international development partners as detailed in the CARICOM Security Framework.

 Heads of Government confirmed to attend this meetinginclude Prime Minister of Barbados The Honourable Mia Mottley, Prime Minister of Grenada The Honourable Keith Mitchell, Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines the Honourable Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis The Honourable Timothy Harris, and Prime Minister of St Lucia, the Honourable Allen Chastanet.

Other CARICOM countries such as Antigua, Haiti, Jamaica and Suriname will be represented by Ministers of Government.

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