PRIME Minister Dr Keith Rowley will lead discussions to finalise a draft counter-terrorism strategy for Caricom. According to a statement issued by the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), Caricom leaders were meeting in caucus late yesterday at the Marriott Hotel in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on regional security matters, with specific focus on counter-terrorism, crime and violence.
The OPM said discussions on the the draft regional counter-terrorism policy were high on the agenda at the 29th Inter-Sessional Caricom Heads of Government Meeting in Haiti, which began yesterday. Apart from holding the security portfolio n Caricom’s quasi-Cabinet, Rowley is also chairman of the Council for National Security and Law Enforcement (CONSLE). The OPM said given the overarching importance of security in the region CONSLE, Rowley’s chairmanship, mandated the Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS) to develop a counter-terrorism strategy for the region.
At the opening ceremony for the meeting, Haitian President Jovennel Moise said, “Organised transnational crime is a major concern for our states. To combat it, a concerted policy is needed.” Caricom Secretary-General Irwin La Rocque told regional leaders of the need to counteract the threat which crime and violence pose to “our societies.” La Rocque said tried and tested values such as love, honesty and self-respect are key weapons which, “must be deployed on our streets, in our towns and in our villages.” At the meeting, Grenada Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell expressed strong objection to the blacklisting of some Caricom member states by the European Union. He also called for the full implementation of the recommendations made by the Prime Ministerial Sub-Committee on Cricket.
He said the community must take responsibility for what should be a public good.”
Moise also urged the region to abide by international climate commitments, specifically naming the Paris Climate Agreement. He also called for a reinforcement of existing mechanisms to respond to the needs of affected countries and victims.