JIS News

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Hon. Dr. Kenneth Baugh, has said that criminals and gangs linked to transnational criminal networks threaten new opportunities for development and progress in developing countries.
“Crime is the single most important deterrent to Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and accelerated tourism growth. Recent events in Jamaica have laid bare the magnitude of the threat, and has reinforced the importance of close and effective international collaboration against these transnational forces,” he stated.
Dr. Baugh was speaking during his contribution to the 2010/11 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on July 13.
He noted that when the campaign against the criminal forces that massed in Western Kingston began several weeks ago, “we all recognised that we stood at a perilous crossroads” but the dangers that faced citizens of these communities and the threat posed to our national security and public safety, served as a catalyst for urgent action, thus beginning an unprecedented campaign against all criminal gangs across Jamaica.”
He noted further that the opportunity was provided to correct the legacies of the past, principally, the dismantled family and community structures, poor infrastructure, and absence of capitalisation for recovery/growth.
According to the Foreign Minister, Jamaicans at home and in the Diaspora, support the effort to transform the society “by seizing the moment to set a new paradigm in our politics and our culture.”
“They wish us to deal decisively and effectively with the hardened criminals and the purveyors of violence and brutality that have pervaded our land for over 40 years and chart a course to a law abiding, tranquil and productive society. They support our efforts to put in place, the social intervention programmes that will address the root causes of the problem – poverty, social dysfunction, marginalisation of young people, deprivation and despair,” he added.
He said there is need to create an environment, which offers hope and opportunity to Jamaicans and “it is only then that our efforts in the international arena will achieve the success that we seek and redound to the benefit of the people of Jamaica.”
“So, while we design the clear distinction between right and wrong, reward and punishment, to pursue a just, equitable, and law-abiding society, we must coordinate the efforts of government, private sector agencies, and others, to build community leadership around economic opportunities,” Dr. Baugh said.

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