Regional security ministers meeting to target transnational crime, says Chang
Minister of National Security and Deputy Prime Minister, Dr. Horace Chang. (Photo: Zavia Mayne).

KINGSTON, Jamaica, (CMC) – National security ministers, Dr Horace Chang, on Wednesday said the gathering of the region’s security ministers and police commissioners is crucial in addressing transnational crime that is seriously impacting several regional countries.

Chang was addressing the 24th meeting of the Caribbean Community’s (Caricom) Council of Ministers of National Security and Law Enforcement (CONSLE) in Montego Bay.

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

Chang stated that one of the main topics to be discussed during CONSOLE will be the transshipment of drugs as the region lies between its biggest producer (South America) and the biggest market for drugs (North America).

“The small arms trade, which was highlighted by the prime minister (Andrew Holness) when he spoke at the United Nations, is a major topic for all of us, also the transshipment of drugs,” he said.

“We are located between two major continents – the biggest producer of the drugs is South America, and the biggest market is North America,” he added.

Chang said the region is also confronted by issues related to cyber security and general maritime security, which are major strategic issues to be examined and to ensure greater collaboration among all Caribbean countries.

“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,” he said.

“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,” he added.

The CONSLE conference will also include a meeting of the security cluster and a meeting with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, which will examine the progress on the regional maritime security strategy and the Treaty of San José.

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