ST JAMES, Jamaica – Deputy Prime Minister and National Security Minister, Dr Horace Chang, has announced that Jamaica will be hosting the 24th meeting of the Council on National Security and Law Enforcement (CONSLE), in Montego Bay between Wednesday and Thursday.
Dr Chang, who is also the current chairman of CONSLE, said the 24th meeting will convene with ministers of national security and policy makers across Caricom.
The CONSLE is responsible for the coordination of the multi-dimensional nature of security, to ensure a safe and stable community.
The CONSLE chairman explained that some of the issues slated for discussion at the multilateral meeting include trafficking in persons, strategies to combat organised and transnational crime; the illicit gun and drug trades, as well as maritime security, coupled with other concerns of the region such as cyber security.
In alluding to Prime Andrew Holness’ recent address to the United Nations General Assembly, Dr Chang stressed that because the Caribbean sits in the middle of two large continents, it is extremely important that the region addresses illicit drugs transhipment, noting that the biggest producers of cocaine dwell in South America, while the largest consumers are situated in North America.
Last Friday, while at a ceremony for the handing over of motor vehicles to the Jamaica Constabulary Force, he further emphasised the need for more regional strategies to combat the illicit trade of small arms, ammunition and their parts, which he said contributes to funding organised crime.
According to the security minister, Jamaica’s contribution to the regional conference is centred on maritime security.
Dr Chang added that in addition to strengthening ties, “the whole point of this meeting is to ensure that we combine all our efforts to ensure major collaboration among other Caribbean countries in addressing emerging issues affecting the Community [Caricom]”.
At the end of this year, Chang’s one-year tenure as chairman for the council will come to an end.