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Information Minster, Senator Burchell Whiteman has expressed support for the National Security Strategy as he said, given the history of its development, the strategy would be embraced by political leadership on both sides of the Houses of Parliament.
Senator Whiteman made the statement during yesterday’s (January 20) sitting of the Senate at Gordon House. The document, which was tabled in the House on Tuesday (January 17) as a Green Paper, is designed to provide a mechanism for more meaningful cooperation and collaboration as state agencies seek to provide a more secure and safe environment.
Based on an assessment of the potential threats to the country’s security eight strategic goals were identified in order to guard against the threats.
These include: the reduction of violent crime and the dismantling of criminal networks, strengthening the criminal justice system, protection against potential terrorism threats, border control and protection, the strengthening of the integrity of democratic institutions, contribution to regional and international security. Other goals involve: creating the environment for a stable economy and the effective and equitable delivery of social services, protection of natural resources as well as protection and mitigation against natural disasters.
Still on the matter of national security, Senator Whiteman said any move to deal purposefully with cross border arms trafficking should receive the country’s full support.
“The fact is that the presence of guns in abundance is a very significant contributor to crime, homicide, social disorder and a disincentive to investment and economic growth,” he stated.
Turning to the matter of the country’s present path economic growth, the Senator said Jamaica had entered a period of economic expansion that had been made possible by the implementation of an activist policy. The policy, he explained, was geared to the stimulation of investment, modernisation of physical infrastructure, and reform of the bureaucratic processes that affect investment and business activity.
“The policy has also involved liberalisation and regulatory reforms to allow for private sector investment in areas formerly controlled by the state, or which were under monopoly control,” he said.
Speaking further, the Senator said, “these elements all fit within the framework for long-term development of the economy, as set out in the National Industrial Policy. That Policy recognised that investment is the prime mover in the growth of the Jamaican economy and that the state needed to play a catalytic role in the mobilisation of investment.”
“The combination of macro-economic stability and improved infrastructure has made investment more profitable. Most investment is driven by profitability and it therefore not surprising that we have a large portfolio which is now underway,” he added.