Officials from the Ministry of Home Affairs on Monday met with local and foreign senior security officials to discuss matters pertaining to the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI) from which Guyana and other Caribbean countries stand to benefit.
According to the Government Information Agency, the meetings are the part of government’s recognition of the need for reform in the security sector and an important component of the CBSI.
The areas that Guyana will benefit from were discussed between the two sides, and according to Minister of Home Affairs, Clement Rohee the ministry is optimistic about moving forward with the programme of cooperation under the CBSI which is fully funded by the US Government.
Minister Rohee said that it is no doubt that based on visits that have been conducted by consultants, Guyana will benefit from many of the programmes to be financed.
United States Ambassador Brent Hardt said that the initiative is a regional partnership launched by President Barrack Obama in 2006, and that from the start it has been a joint venture built upon a dialogue in order to identify areas where cooperation is needed.
“And what we developed was an initiative that would have seen us working more closely together to combat trafficking, promote citizen security, and strengthen the justice sector”, Ambassador Hardt pointed out.
The US official added that the project is a regional strategy, and the team will continue to meet with regional groups and senior officials to define what is being done and diagnose where improvements are needed.
“We are in our third year and we are now seeing the impact of the CBSI,” he said. This is as a result of the many programmes implemented to fight crimes.
Guyana, through the Customs Anti Narcotics Unit, has been able to benefit from several of these programmes. The country now has the ability to track and identify criminals through its high-tech fingerprinting tool which is one of the CBSI regional information sharing programmes.
Ambassador Hardt said that emphasis will also be placed on Police professionalisation, board of security and other justice sector reform areas. Special programmes for youths will also be featured under the theme “crime prevention”.
He said that this partnership is an example of the cohesion between the US and the Caribbean.