- Honourable Dr. Horace Chang, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Security of Jamaica and Chairman of the Council for National Security and Law Enforcement
- Honourable Ministers and Heads of Delegation
- Distinguished Delegates
- Colleagues from the CARICOM Secretariat and Institutions
- Ladies and Gentlemen
It is a privilege to welcome you to this Twenty-Fourth Meeting of the Council for National Security and Law Enforcement (CONSLE) in my capacity as Assistant Secretary-General of the Directorate of Human and Social Development which has responsibility for the Crime Prevention programme. This is my first CONSLE Meeting, but I have been briefed on the excellent work that has been done over last year under the competent leadership of the current Chair, Dr. Horace Chang, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Security of Jamaica, and Chairman of the Council for National Security and Law Enforcement. Honourable Minister, I wish to commend you for the tremendous efforts towards addressing crime and security issues in the community.
This being the first face-to-face CONSLE since the pandemic, it is very significant to all of us as we are aware that the last two-and-a-half years worsened the pre-existing issues of crime and security and created new issues that need to be addressed as a unified body. The Regional Response Mechanisms had to be strengthened through inter-sectoral cooperation within regional security to protect our citizens and we worked well with other sectors.
The intensification and diversification of risks and threats to CARICOM are occurring against the backdrop of fundamental shifts to the wider global environment. This meeting therefore presents the opportunity to strengthen our cooperation and shared responsibility to safeguard and preserve the peace, security, and socio-economic development of our nations and citizens. The challenges that threaten our security have put in sharp focus the need for increased emphasis on the relevance of regional integration and functional cooperation to the Community in its approach to security. It necessitates increased cooperation and information sharing among Member States. The agenda of this 24th Meeting of the CONSLE is well balanced and addresses thematic areas ranging from ongoing areas to emergent issues.
Honourable Minister, Dr. Chang, has reminded us of the four areas already identified as major priorities.
Given the above, the Community must continuously strive to ensure that occurrences that affect national borders, promote standard operational procedures and progress in preventing cross-border crime, also takes into consideration the Community response towards recovery post COVID-19.
The Secretariat remains committed to supporting your efforts through our technical team and at the forefront of our agenda is keeping our citizens safe. We are optimistic that the amazing work done by IMPACS, RSS, our institutions and our Member States will continue to yield positive outcomes.
I wish you all productive deliberations and look forward to the policy decisions that will emanate from your discussions.