Prime Minister Freundel Stuart has identified money laundering, cyber-crimes and cross border criminal activity among the greatest threats to this region’s security.
Delivering the feature address yesterday at the official opening of the three million pounds (sterling) Regional Security System Fusion Centre at Paragon, Christ Church, Stuart also emphasized the need for regional information sharing to combat the current “basket of challenges” facing governments.
Stuart told the gathering, which included the British High Commissioner to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Victoria Dean and the United States Ambassador to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Linda Taglialatela, there was a pressing need for the RSS to have a clear understanding of all issues impacting the national security of member states.
He also said it was imperative that new methods be adopted by the RSS to defend the nations of the Caribbean and their sovereignty.
Against the backdrop of recent incidents of theft from Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) in Barbados, which were allegedly perpetrated by non-nationals, he contended that such threats must be countered in order to maintain peace, security and stability in the Caribbean region.
In welcoming the establishment of the RSS Fusion Centre in Barbados, he acknowledged the financial contribution made by the British Government, saying it was not only testimony to the strong relations which exist between the United Kingdom and the Caribbean, but also a strategic initiative aimed at strengthening those policy steps and methodologies to be employed as they relate to defence and security.
The Prime Minister, who noted that an Intelligence Analysis Unit had already ben established in St Lucia, stressed that the Caribbean needed all of the tools it could muster to gird itself for the unending struggle to preserve and protect the region from persons who persistently traffic drugs, small arms and light weapons and who spread terror.