JIS News

National Security Minister, Dr. Peter Phillips has assured that the highest level of security would be provided for all visitors for the duration of the ICC World Cup Cricket 2007.
He was addressing a post-Sectoral Debate press briefing at the Ministry’s Oxford Road offices today (May 31).
Dr. Phillips informed that a major focus of the efforts of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) and the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) during the course of this year would go towards ensuring that the security arrangements for Cricket World Cup 2007 were in place as the tournament, which is the third largest sporting event in the world while bringing worldwide exposure to the Caribbean, would also pose a severe security challenge.
“For one thing the principle on which this World Cup will be operating is different from any other in that you have nine host countries and the arrangements are that entry to one country gives you entry to all the countries for those coming to view World Cup Cricket,” Dr. Phillips pointed out.
“Likewise we will be one customs zone for the period, this means the entire regional security arrangement will only be as strong as its weakest link and it is for that reason we are participating with our CARICOM partners to ensure that the entire region has an effective security fence in place for these games,” he added.
The National Security Minister noted that the need for vigilance was further heightened given the fact that many of the participating countries that were “on the frontline of the so called war on terror”, would have players and citizens visiting the region.
“There may be persons who will seek to transfer the war unto Caribbean soil. There are also many ongoing conflicts in some of the countries which themselves could be transferred to Caribbean soil, so we are placing tremendous emphasis on this and there is a security plan in place,” Dr. Phillips stressed. Furthermore he assured that ongoing threat assessments had been undertaken and would continue to be undertaken at regular intervals to identify any actual or potential threats of a terrorist nature, or otherwise, to the games.
With regards to entry regulations, the National Security Minister said that through collaboration with other CARICOM partners, an appropriate visa regime would be established for the period of the games.
In addition, he said, a Mutual Assistance Agreement Treaty with CARICOM partners would also be introduced.
“Quite frankly the countries with more effective security arrangements and capabilities will be required to provide joint assistance to other Caribbean countries and we expect in the period of the games that at various points we will be able to extend assistance in the form of JDF and JCF personnel to assist elsewhere in the Caribbean but this will require formal agreements, which will protect these individuals in their actions overseas,” Minister Phillips explained.
Dr. Phillips who will be leaving the island shortly to visit several countries abroad, beginning with London, on behalf of the CARICOM Ministers of Security, said he would be using the opportunity to secure assistance from other countries in providing the appropriate security arrangements. He stated that there was a need to boost existing airlift capabilities and gain assistance for naval and maritime security in the region over the period.
“Based upon the planning that has been undertaken so far and the commitments we expect to receive from our international and regional partners based on preliminary discussions, we can say to everyone that the Caribbean will be ready to provide the highest level of security protection for all visitors and all citizens for the duration of CWC 2007,” Dr. Phillips assured.