British High Commissioner to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean Scott Furssedonn-Wood has stressed the importance of regional countries being prepared to respond to international risks and threats and maintain national security.
Speaking at the closing ceremony of the Managing Defence in the Wider Security Context course at the Barbados Defence Force (BDF) headquarters, Furssedonn-Wood said effective management of military resources is paramount in achieving that.
He noted that the military is called upon ever more frequently to provide support in dealing with natural and humanitarian disasters and also to provide cover for national infrastructure services.
“Therefore, effective management strategies must not focus on overseeing resources alone; they must develop an awareness of the wider global situation and provide continuous assessment of risks and threats to the nation state,” he said.
Furssedonn-Wood pointed out that recent international events demonstrated that no nation stands alone in managing its security.
Noting that these are challenging times, the diplomat said that as the world recovers from the effects of the economic crisis, many challenges still linger, such as threats of terrorism, major organised crime, weapons smuggling and proliferation, narcotics, and illegal migration.
He said the region must continue to strive for excellence at every level of government and the defence and security sectors to combat these threats.
“In our respective roles, we have to be able to work more collaboratively to be more successful at defeating these threats. The UK perspective is that promotion of prosperity and security along with delivery of a stable, prosperous and secure world can provide opportunities of prosperity for all. That is why we work collaboratively to address the challenges and seek to maximise opportunities,” he said.
The High Commissioner said he hoped that the one-week course facilitated by Lieutenant Colonel John Skliros and Dr Anastasia Fillipidou from the United Kingdom Defence Academy had provided the 26 participants with food for thought.
During the course, the participants engaged in discussions on various topics including assessment of security within the international context, evaluation of current challenges to state sovereignty, appreciation of the importance of governance in defence, and recognition of the significance of strategic leadership for transformation of security sectors and the enhancement of professionalism.
Furssedonn-Wood said he was pleased with reports that the participants were open and honest in their contributions to the discussions.
“It is very encouraging to see such a wide cross-section of countries and organisations represented on this programme. Although the period we have been together on this programme will be relatively short, it should be easy to sustain the links and your collective work should help in building a deeper understanding to move forward,” he said.
“Through collective dialogue, collaborative management of issues, and effective and considered leadership we are strengthened and will be better placed to succeed in addressing the security, defence, and socio-economic challenges we all face.”