Caribbean Nations Security Conference Kicks-Off in Port of Spain, Trinidad:
By Dialogo February 23, 2011
Isabel Malowany / Diálogo
The co-hosts of this year’s Caribbean Nations Security Conference, the United States Southern Command and Trinidad and Tobago, immediately set the tone for the task at hand: Countering illicit traffick is a trans-national challenge which requires trans-national cooperation and partnerships.
In opening remarks, the Commander of the U.S. Southern Command, General Douglas Fraser, stressed the need to develop common strategies to counter illicit trafficking and the spread of trans-national criminal organizations. “Illicit trafficking is the major threat to this region and the hemisphere and requires a collaborative approach”, General Fraser said.
The strategic importance of the Caribbean was higlighted by General Fraser, who pointed out that the region is at a crossroads between the illicit narcotics producers to the south and west and the main consumer markets for illicit drugs to the north and east.
Trinidad and Tobago Chief of Defence, Brigadier Roland Maunday, echoed these statements by stressing the need for strong regional committment to counter the threat posed by illicit trafficking as being what he called “ critical to meeting this challenge”.
The regional conference brings together the Chiefs of Defense from 15 Caribbean nations, representatives from regional organizations such as CARICOM and the Caribbean Regional Security System and observers from the Inter-American Defense Board, the Netherlands, France, and the United Kingdom.