COVID-19 Poses Threats To Regional Security

COVID-19 Poses Threats To Regional Security

COVID-19 Poses Threats To Regional Security

Regional Security System | Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Executive Director of the RSS, Captain (N) Errington Shurland

Cyber security, border security and food security within the Caribbean region have been highlighted as three areas which pose significant vulnerabilities during a crisis such as the current COVID-19 pandemic.

This was the view of Executive Director of the Regional Security System (RSS), Captain (N) Errington Shurland, as he delivered his presentation at the first Virtual Security Conference in the Caribbean Community which was hosted by the CARICOM Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (CARICOM IMPACS).

Captain Shurland stated that COVID-19 presented new challenges to addressing the already existing transnational crimes such as the illegal trafficking of drugs and firearms and the rising level of violence.

“The pandemic has definitely brought into stark reality the multi-dimensional nature of security challenges confronting our region… Individually they threaten the well-being of CARICOM countries but together they threaten our very existence,” he asserted.

The RSS official indicated that with the recent surge in remote business operations and information and communications technology (ICT), there has been a rise in cybercrime, with evidence showing a 350 per cent increase in the phishing of websites.

Stressing the need for cyber security providers to shift their focus to building a resilient cyber domain, Captain Shurland stated: “I would suggest, strongly so, that consideration be given to signing on to the Budapest Convention; it is the first international treaty seeking to address internet and computer crime by harmonizing national laws, improving investigative techniques and increasing cooperation.”

He further noted that countries in the region must be more agile in creating or updating national cyber security strategies.

The Executive Director also highlighted the importance of border security coordination, noting that the operational challenges which border security agencies had faced in the first stages of the COVID-19 outbreak highlighted the need to “step-up” assistance on health related issues, including crisis management and contingency planning.

Captain Shurland posited that: “Just as transnational organized crime does not stop at borders similarly the coronavirus does not.  The importance of Border Security coordination and cooperation is even more critical as a consequence of COVID-19, and evidence suggests that there is a need for a better Border Management System at the national level that is fully integrated.”

The RSS head maintained that “an overarching regional response mechanism that includes the development of plans for biological, chemical, radiological and even nuclear hazards, at the intermediate and national response levels, must be considered.”

With regards to food security, Captain Shurland underscored its connection to national security.  He explained that due to a catastrophic decline in revenues and insufficient access to concessional financing, countries may be unable to import food, which would lead to food shortages and could potentially spearhead civil unrest.

“The onset of COVID-19 has underscored for our region, and indeed the global community, the need to establish effective and meaningful collaborative mechanisms to anticipate global risks and threats… What is critical for us not only as a region, but as a global community, is to focus on information sharing… I believe that multilateralism is critical in wrestling COVID-19 to the ground,” he opined.

Regional Security System 

CBSI-Connect Project Vacancies

CBSI-Connect Project Vacancies

CBSI-Connect Project Vacancies

Regional Security System | Friday, July 3, 2020

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS), established by the CARICOM Heads of Government, is seeking suitably qualified individuals to fill the following posts for the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI) Connect Project – the Transferal of the CBSI-Connect Platform to CARICOM IMPACS:

  • Project Officer, CBSI-Connect Project
  • Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Technician, CBSI-Connect Project
  • Frontend Developer, CBSI-Connect Project

All applications should be submitted to CARICOM IMPACS no later than July 15, 2020 and must include the individual’s nationality, work experience, educational qualifications, summary of professional skills, the contact information of three (3) references (at least two of whom are familiar with your work or education), and other relevant information.

Applications may be sent by emailing careers@carimpacs.org or via mail to The Executive Director, P.O. Box 4585, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad And Tobago. Online applications are strongly recommended.

For full details click here.

CARICOM IMPACS

Prisons Equipped to Fight COVID-19

Prisons Equipped to Fight COVID-19

Prisons Equipped to Fight COVID-19

Regional Security System | Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Members of the Barbados Defence Force transferring sanitizing supplies for shipment. (Photo: RSS)

Prisons in Barbados and St. Vincent and the Grenadines are now better equipped to combat the infection and transmission of COVID-19.

Executive Director of the CARICOM Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (CARICOM IMPACS), Lt. Col. Michael Jones and Executive Director of the Regional Security System (RSS), Captain (N) Errington Shurland, handed over various basic sanitation supplies to Superintendent of the Barbados Prison Service, Lt. Col. John Nurse, during a brief presentation at the RSS Air Wing, earlier today. Lt. Col. Jones then made a similar presentation to the Superintendent of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Prison Service, Brenton Charles, along with British Resident Coordinator, Steve Moore, at the Argyle International Airport.

Executive Director of CARICOM IMPACS, Major Michael Jones and Executive Director of the RSS, Captain (N) Errington Shurland, handing over sanitation supplies to Superintendent of the Barbados Prison Service, Lt. Col. John Nurse. (Photo: RSS)

The items which were donated include infrared thermometers, cleaning products such as disinfectant, liquid soap, bleach and hand sanitizers, among other necessary supplies, all in accordance with guidelines issued by the World Health Organisation for the prevention and control of the pandemic in prisons.

The Prison Service of Suriname also benefited from the donations, and their supplies were recently airlifted from the Grantley Adams International Airport by Surinam Airways. Nine other CARICOM Member States will also receive supplies over the next week.

The handover of the supplies are a joint effort of CARICOM IMPACS, the British High Commission in Port of Spain and the RSS, which will be transporting the items to the various Member States.

Regional Security System / CARICOM IMPACS