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Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago – On Tuesday, CARICOM IMPACS in collaboration with the US Government concluded a week long Joint Interdiction Training in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The training, targeted at regional border security officials, was made possible through funding under the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative and was overseen by personnel from the US Customs and Border Protections (CBP).   

During the training, participants were engaged in live exercises in the St. Thomas and St. Johns Bay ports which resulted in seizures of firearms found in checked bags, four seizures of packages of marijuana and a significant sum of money. The exercise was supervised by the Todd Bellew, USCBP Area Port Manager.

This Joint Interdiction Training is one of several training initiatives delivered to regional law enforcement and border security officials in 2015 and is intended to create opportunities to develop and strengthen partnerships, share best practices and collaborate on regional border security issues.

Ongoing border security training is relevant and necessary given region’s susceptibility to threats such as trafficking in arms and ammunition; drugs and humans.  Noteworthy also is that the Caribbean has not remained insulated from the current crisis in Syria and the resulting mass migration and therefore the need for training in enhanced detection methods is essential.

Participating Member States included Antigua, Barbados, Saint Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

For more information please contact:-
Lorraine Berkeley
Telephone: +868-625-4441
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Website: www.caricomimpacs.org 

(CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana)     CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque today received a donation of items from member companies of the Guyana Private Sector Commission (PSC) to support the recovery effort in storm-damaged Dominica.

The donation of a wide range of medical supplies, generators, cleaning items and cash were presented by New Guyana Pharmaceutical Company, Gaico Construction and General Services Inc., National Hardware and CAMEX Ltd.

The Secretary-General thanked the PSC for their quick and generous response to the devastation in the sister CARICOM Member State, and stressed that the donations are very well linked to the immediate needs on the ground.

“I can tell you these items will be well received, knowing the situation on the ground”.

Private Sector Commission Chairman, Major General (Ret) Norman Mc Lean said its members were keen to be early and make meaningful contributions to the relief effort.

“We are our brothers’ keepers and this is what is expected of us.  The Commission is working assiduously to ensure further meaningful contributions.”

Arrangements are being made to transport the items to Dominica later this week. The Secretary-General leaves on a visit to Dominica on Thursday.

Dominica is in recovery mode following last Thursday’s passage by Tropical Storm Erika which left more than 30 persons dead and extenasive damage to infrastructure.  The Government has declared nine special disaster areas.

CDEMA, the CARICOM Institution leading the regional response on the ground in Dominica, has reported that 52 houses were destroyed and 89 damaged and that more than 500 person remain homeless. It said major damage to roadways and bridges has made it difficult to reach several communities.

Today we live in a global community, or as some would say, a “global village”, where risks and threats impacting on countries are not necessarily discriminatory on the basis of population, economics, size or geography. In this context the strength of our individual or collective economies are unimportant. Populations in this region have grown accustomed to living through crises after crises some being triggered by Mother Nature while many others are influenced by events originating elsewhere. We recognise and even accept our ever changing regional threat picture with all its complexities. In response we have developed and adopted a regional crime and security strategy which takes into account numerous threats relating to gangs and their associations with organised crime and trafficking in all its aspects. We take seriously threats from terrorism and even natural disasters which are now becoming uncomfortably frequent. We consider cyber security as a potential danger and continue to build our defences in response. But just as we are perhaps beginning to get comfortable we are confronted with new and evolving threats such the deadly Ebola Virus and ISIS or ISIL staring us in the face. And so what is the message to which we should be giving full attention today? This message I propose is simply that we are living in an environment over which we really have very little control, security wise and otherwise. This message is also one which directs our attention to being prepared for crises, no matter its nature or origin.

Read more: SPEECH BY MR. FRANCIS FORBES, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, CARICOM IMPACS AT OPENING CEREMONY - CRISES...

Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago: The Caribbean region is particularly vulnerable to a wide range of natural hazards, including hurricanes, droughts and flooding as well as threats from transnational crimes such as drug smuggling, human trafficking and cybercrimes. One of the key challenges that countries in the region face is to become more proactive in order to predict and prevent conflicts and reduce the impact of disasters and crisis situations. It is with this issue in mind therefore that the Global Crisis Response Support Programme (GCRSP) will start its first training course on the 29th of June in Port of Spain at the CARICOM Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS).  Read More

The Bahamas used the occasion of the just-ended 18th Meeting of the Council for Foreign and Community Relations (COFCOR) to sign Instruments of Accession to three agreements.  See full article.

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