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Story Highlights

  • A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed between the Ministry of Transport and Mining and the Ministry of National Security for a national training initiative in Counter Terrorism Management.
  • Speaking at the signing ceremony in Kingston, on April 20, Minister of Transport and Mining, Hon. Mike Henry said that the greatest threat to investment is security and if Jamaica is pursuing investments internationally, the first thing that must be ensured is the safety of the people who will come to invest.
  • State Minister in the Ministry of National Security, Senator the Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr., said the signing marks a demonstration of true collaboration and is a reflection of the substantive, pro-active and realistic approach that has been taken to the nation’s security.

A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed between the Ministry of Transport and Mining and the Ministry of National Security for a national training initiative in Counter Terrorism Management.

The first deliverable under the MOU will be a Post Graduate Diploma in Strategic Counter Terrorism Management tenable at the Caribbean Maritime Institute (CMI).

The programme will initially engage 40 students from the Ministry of National Security Counter Terrorism Forum (CT Forum) for a period of nine months.

Speaking at the signing ceremony in Kingston, on April 20, Minister of Transport and Mining, Hon. Mike Henry said that the greatest threat to investment is security and if Jamaica is pursuing investments internationally, the first thing that must be ensured is the safety of the people who will come to invest.

He pointed out that border security has become a great economic barrier in some ways and a great economic opportunity in others, but that border control has taken some of the humanistic approaches out of life and the trust between people.

Against that background, the Minister said, he endorses the approach taken by the CMI to train security personnel in counter terrorism.

“There is no doubt that the institution has the requisite expertise and experience to provide the training necessary that should lead to degrees in cybersecurity and general administration and management of national security,” he said.

For his part, State Minister in the Ministry of National Security, Senator the Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr., said the signing marks a demonstration of true collaboration and is a reflection of the substantive, pro-active and realistic approach that has been taken to the nation’s security.

“We live and work in a global environment which has presented many advantages such as technological advancements that have made communication, transportation and movement easy, but at the same time we acknowledge that these things also present vulnerabilities,” he said.

“It is our duty in the effort to secure our nation and to protect our people, to take those proactive steps to train personnel, acquire the necessary equipment and to ensure that we are putting together the requisite systems for our country to be safer and more productive,” he explained.

It is against this background, Senator Charles said, that the CT Forum was established within the Ministry of National Security.

The Forum, he noted, comprises representatives from several agencies and is defining a movement towards interconnectivity, which will facilitate the achievement of goals through collaboration.

Chairman of the CT Forum, Titania Ward, said that the programme has been extended to representatives from two financial institutions and that it will assist them in identifying persons who are involved in terrorism financing and money laundering. She expressed gratitude to the CMI for sponsoring the programme, as full costs for the initial cohort will be absorbed by the institution.

Miss Ward pointed out that the programme is the first of its kind in the region and that it provides the country with useful leverage. “We want persons to be exposed, and having a cadre of individuals with that expertise provides us with a competitive advantage in terms of countering terrorism,” she said.

Also involved in the CT Forum are the Jamaica Constabulary Force (Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime Investigation Branch and the National Investigation Bureau), the Jamaica Defence Force, the Financial Investigations Division, Jamaica Customs Agency and the Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA).