Regional Information Intelligence Sharing Network Imminent

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Ministerial Subcommittee for Resource Mobilization in collaboration with the United Kingdom (UK) will be seeking to establish a Regional Information and Intelligence Sharing Network.
This network is aimed at developing domestic and regional connectivity to generate tactical and strategic intelligence.
The Intelligence Sharing Network was one of several initiatives, which came out of Wednesday’s (March 3) meeting between the CARICOM Ministerial Subcommittee, chaired by Jamaica’s National Security Minister, Dr. Peter Phillips and the UK Senior Level Team on Security Cooperation, led by Bill Rammell, Minister at the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, with responsibility for the UK’s relations with the Caribbean.
The meeting was a follow up to discussions between UK Prime Minister, Tony Blair and Prime Minister, P.J. Patterson, Chairman of CARICOM, and other CARICOM Heads of Government in London last year December.
Giving an update on the outcome of the meeting to journalists today at the Hilton Kingston Hotel, Dr. Peter Phillips said that this initiative was of the highest priority.
He said that a CARICOM team comprising experts in Information Technology (IT) and security, chaired by Jamaica’s Commissioner of Police, Francis Forbes would develop the framework for the network.
“We expect that the team will begin work immediately .and that they will have an initial report of their survey within CARICOM that we can discuss in May. We will be moving immediately to set in place an effort to correct any differences, which may exist in the present regional arrangements. We are according (this as) the highest priority of all the various measures here,” the Minister said.
Mr. Rammell also echoed the importance of establishing such network, pointing out that, “the key issue is establishing a regional information and intelligence sharing network (which) is particularly important and from this meeting the CARICOM team of experts will be up and running and we will be providing the UK experts to support that process”.
He further added, “I think that is one of the biggest challenges that we face” but also stressed that CARICOM countries needed to put in place the legislative framework to enforce these initiatives.Other initiatives that came out of the meeting were the training of security and law enforcement officials, which is aimed at developing a regional framework for providing staff, command and leadership training for all security and law enforcement sectors.The Group also pledged to develop a framework for upgrading the asset base in the Caribbean and through a Regional Maritime Agreement. Under this Agreement, CARICOM and the UK, in collaboration, where appropriate with other countries or partners, would carry out a survey to assist Member States in upgrading their capabilities.
The UK has also agreed to take the lead and coordinate a Steering Committee, which should be carried out in time for the UK/Caribbean Forum set for May 10-12 in London.
Other initiatives that emerged from the meeting were that of border security where CARIOM would establish an expert group to identify the priorities in this area and will meet with the UK Expert team to plan an implementation strategy in time for discussion at the Forum.

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