Meeting of regional security ministers underway
Minister of National Security, Dr Horace Chang

KINGSTON, Jamaica - The 24th meeting of the Caribbean Community (Caricom) Council of Ministers of National Security and Law Enforcement (CONSLE) is now underway at the Ocean Eden Bay Hotel in Trelawny.

It is the first time that Jamaica is hosting the regional meeting, which is being attended by ministers and police commissioners from across the region.

CONSLE is responsible for the coordination of the multidimensional nature of security, to ensure a safe and stable Caricom. Jamaica is currently serving as chair of the body.

Minister of National Security, Dr Horace Chang, said that the three-day gathering from October 5 to October 7 is crucial in addressing transnational crime, which is seriously impacting several countries within the region.

“The small arms trade, which was highlighted by the prime minister when he spoke at the United Nations, is a major topic for all of us, also the transshipment of drugs. We are located between two major continents – the biggest producer of the drugs is South America, and the biggest market is North America,” Chang said.

“In addition to that, of course, we have cybersecurity and the general maritime security [which] are major strategic issues to be examined and to ensure greater collaboration among all Caribbean countries,” he noted.

He added that “collaboration will definitely help in reducing the flow [of illicit guns and drugs] as we seek to make our borders safer and work with our friends in the region to share information and manage the entire maritime space”.

The CONSLE conference will include a meeting of the Security Cluster and a meeting with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), which will examine the progress on the regional Maritime Security Strategy and the Treaty of San José

The treaty is aimed at enhancing the collective ability of the Caribbean to counter maritime drug trafficking.

“We look forward to a successful conference to strengthen the security bonds and sharing of information between our friends in the region, so that we can all operate in a safer space,” Chang said.

Jamaica’s term as Chairman of CONSLE will come to an end on December 31.

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