The Council of Ministers for the Regional Security System (RSS) met in Grenada last week for another important meeting aimed at addressing the many security challenges facing the Eastern Caribbean region, including problems facing the youth.
The RSS meeting, chaired by Prime Minister of Grenada, Dr. Keith Mitchell in his capacity as Minister for National Security, was convened at the Grenadian by Rex Resort last week Wednesday.
In delivering an address at the opening ceremony, Prime Minister Mitchell took careful note of some of the agenda items such as youth intervention in the individual countries, the financial situation, intelligence reports as well as the security threats facing the region.
The Prime Minister Mitchell pointed out that the meeting was being held in a “relatively peaceful period” in the region but warned that “while, we continue to make progress in many areas we have to come to terms that this is a different world that we are living in.
“It’s no longer issues that just involve innovating, but we have to face the consequences that we might be seen as soft targets and therefore, we have to do everything we can and work with all our friends internationally to ensure that we do not face any of the problems that we see engulfing the world community as far as security issues are concerned,” he said.
PM Mitchell cited unity as the main combat method to be used against crime in the region.
“We have to integrate all our efforts,” he said, noting that “those who are involved in criminal activities, they have no boundaries and therefore, if we do not act together as a unit…they would always be ahead of us. So it is important to come to terms that to deal with these regional security issues we have to work as one unit”, he said.
The RSS and its member states have received more than US$38 million to help build sustainable security solutions.
Deputy Chief of Mission, US Embassy for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Laura Greismer who also delivered an address told the RSS ministers that as a result of the relationship through President Barack Obama’s Caribbean Basin Security initiative (CBSI), the United States has new resources to help build citizen security and substantively reduce illicit trafficking in the region.
Greismer spoke of further efforts to strengthen citizen security in the region, and also recognized the importance of collaborative and cooperative security partnerships.
“We want to continue to work with you and together we believe that we can build on a strong foundation and work to better our shared Caribbean home,” she said.
RSS came into being against the backdrop of the 1983 U.S-led military action in Grenada to restore law and order following the execution of leftist Prime Minister Maurice Bishop in a bloody palace coup.
Several of the members contributed token military personnel as then U.S President, the late Ronald Reagan dispatched thousands of troops to put down the General Hudson Austin-led Revolutionary Military Council (RMC) that had ousted Bishop following a bitter feud with a more radical faction led by Bernard Coard for control of the New Jewel Movement (NJM).