Region Must Confront Several Challenges in 2019, Says Jamaica’s National Security Minister

Jamaica’s National Security Minister Dr Horace Chang

KINGSTON, Jamaica, Wednesday January 23, 2019 – Minister of National Security Dr Horace Chang says transnational organised crime and the connected high rates of crime and violence, human trafficking and the imminent threat posed by cybercriminals are some of the challenges that the region must confront in 2019.

He says the security threats that are unique to small island states demand the persistent attention of policymakers.

Minister Chang made the call as he addressed yesterday’s opening of the United States/Jamaica Defence and Security three-day seminar, jointly organized by the William J Perry Centre for Hemispheric Defence Studies and the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF).

Dr Chang noted that, according to researcher Dr. R. Evan Ellis, the security environment of the region is shaped by three persistent, interdependent, albeit evolving, challenges – climate, migration and criminal flows.

“It is, therefore, fitting that we will commence 2019 with a strategic focus on the defence and security threats impacting the region,” he said.

The Minister pointed out that the seminar was a demonstration of the commitment to developing sustainable solutions to long-standing and emerging problems impacting Jamaica and the wider Caribbean region, and noted that the hosting of the seminar could not be more timely, as the US  is currently facing numerous security and defence challenges.

He said the exchange of perspectives and experiences would allow people to contemplate new policies and approaches to achieve safety and security at the national, regional and international levels.

The National Security Minister emphasized that security does not exist in a vacuum, as insecurity and instability in one country can have significant implications for citizens in countries thousands of miles away.

Over the next three days, the presentations, discussions and exercises will focus on: ‘National Security and Defence’; ‘Transnational Threats and Organised Crime’; and ‘Evolving and Future Trends’.

“I am confident that the seminar participants, who represent a wide cross section of ministries, departments and agencies, are all keen to engage in the diverse, interesting and relevant subject matters,” Minister Chang said.

“The varied perspectives that will be brought out in your discussions can only enrich the understanding and provide new insights that will enable us to eradicate crime and violence from the Jamaican society.”

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