Trinidad and Tobago’s Foreign and CARICOM Affairs Minister Dennis Moses says it is the intention of the new Keith Rowley administration to adopt a “whole of government” approach to national security, saying that the administration’s commitment to the safety and security of its citizens “remains undiminished”.
In his maiden address to the United Nations General Assembly on Friday, Moses said all ministries and national agencies will “share responsibility and will be accountable for the safety of the State” through the “Whole of Government” initiative.
“To promote an integrated and resilient ‘Whole-of-Government’ approach to national security and to contribute to the attainment of sustainable development in line with the Government’s strategic vision for Developed Country status by 2030, the Government of Trinidad and Tobago will actively pursue mechanisms to strengthen national capacities to reduce risk and to build community resilience to threats to national security,” said Moses.
He told the 70th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) that some of the measures targeted for implementation include development of an adaptable Defense and Security posture to ensure that the traditional role of the military is integrated with new roles; establishment of a Joint Border Protection Agency; adoption of an intelligence-led National Security Architecture; and enhancement of a Disaster Risk Management capability policy.
Moses told the international community that for small states, such as Trinidad and Tobago, the maintenance of international peace and security is of “paramount importance,” adding that the twin-island republic is “keenly aware” that prospects for achieving sustainable development are “inextricably linked to the safety and security of our people”.
But he acknowledged that the country’s ability to provide such safety and security is increasingly being stretched, “given that Trinidad and Tobago is located in a region heavily impacted by the trafficking of small arms and light weapons, as well as its attendant ills”.
Moses said this illicit trade is trans-boundary in nature and is largely associated with the drug trade and its international criminal networks.
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