P.M Hon Tillman Thomas makes significant interventions at Caricom SICA Summit III

Monday, August 22, 2011 9:58 AM
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PM Caricom SICA Summit IIIST. GEORGE's, GRENADA; AUGUST 19, 2011 − At the Third CARICOM-SICA Summit

concluded in El Salvador today, PM Tillman Thomas made significant interventions to promote awareness of, adequate responses and adaptation to climate change issues affecting the two sub-regions, as well as addressing regional security concerns.

Addressing the Summit, PM Thomas sought SICA support for CARICOM concerns as articulated in the initiatives being advanced by member countries in the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) – the UN sub-grouping of similarly situated and challenged nations.

PM Thomas also noted that member states of CARICOM "are challenged by the lack of resources to effectively confront crime and insecurity."

"Maintaining security is especially problematic for island states which have coastal borders with innumerable shores and bays all the way around, which make surveillance very costly and monitoring extremely difficult,"

PM Thomas went on to explain. Further complicating our problem is "the sophisticated boats and technology used by criminals for transnational organized crime. This sophistication allows them to take advantage of limitations in the security capacity of island nations of CARICOM. " Thusly, in view of our geographical and economic constraints, PM emphasized that "regional collaboration is necessary.

" PM Thomas also paid attention to the fact that deportees from North America do contribute to the noted increase in criminal activity in the Caribbean. In view of the region's limited resources to address this problem, he proposed that the two sub-regions should come together for a more meaningful engagement of the United States on this issue.

It is noteworthy that the Declaration adopted by the Heads of the meeting today, lays out a way forward, which is based on a proposal put forward by Grenada and unanimously agreed to by Ministers of Foreign Affairs, who met on Thursday in preparation for the Summit.

This declaration is aimed at advancing the cooperation agreement between the two sub- regions, which has been stagnant since 2007.

Accompanied by Ambassador Gillian Bristol, PM Thomas is one of three CARICOM Heads of Government who attended the Summit in El Salvador, representing the collective Heads of CARICOM. The other two leaders were PM Dr. Denzil Douglas from St. Kitts & Nevis and President Desi Bouterse from Suriname.

PM Thomas, who left Grenada on Thursday to attend this Summit, is expected to be back on Saturday. In his absence, Minister Denis Lett has been acting as Prime Minister.




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