- Written by LK Hewlett
St Kitts and Nevis (WINN): Political and social activist, Operation Rescue’s Dwyer Astaphan, will head the Ministry of National Security’s National Security Strategy Formulation Committee, launched on Wednesday (September 5).
Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs, Attorney General Vincent Byron said the Committee forms part of the government’s bid to establish a national security architecture, designed to present a coordinated, holistic approach to dealing with the criminal threats confronting the federation.
In his remarks he said, “In taking the decision to improve upon the existing security architecture, cabinet approved the establishment of the National Security Strategy Formulation Committee, the NSSFC who will have the important responsibility of developing the strategy needed. After much deliberation, the committee that has emerged is comprised of the following persons drawn from civil society, all of whom are outstanding citizens and have been making solid contributions to our country.”
Dwyer Astaphan was named Chairman of the NSSF Committee. Other members include ECCB Governor Mr. Timothy Antoine, Pastor Lincoln Hazel who was nominated by the Ministry of Ecclesiastical Affairs, Mr. Errol Wilkinson who was nominated by the Chamber of Industry and Commerce, Mrs. Michele de la Coudray- Blake, Mr. Donald Cable, former Assistant Commissioner of Police Joseph Liburd and Newrish Nital.
The Committee is expected to compile a report of recommendations that will form a national security strategy policy.. That report is expected to be completed by December and will go to the Cabinet, and will shape the way the government fights crime at all levels.
“The National Security Strategy Policy will be the primary document of the nation that speaks to its threat, realities and the methodology to be employed to combat them. It demonstrates the political will, the vision, the direction, guidance, capacities, and capabilities necessary to ensure the security, safety, and stability of the federation as well as its interests locally and overseas. In the conduct of their tasks, therefore, we believe that the committee will be required to define and prioritize our threat realities, recommend how each will be dealt with, indicate the ministries, the agencies or departments, institutions and organizations with lead and supporting responsibilities in order that there are appropriate responsibilities in dealing with crime. And all other issues, natural and manmade disasters, health pandemics, terrorism, corruption, money laundering, human trafficking, transnational organized crime, illegal arms and ammunition trafficking, cyber crimes etc, that form a threat to this our federation.”
The Attorney General said as part of the national security strategy policy, law enforcement and other agents will likely see a review of their operational structure and changes made to their scope of responsibilities.
“As is normal in these cases we can expect that the committee will make recommendations that could see entities of the government being required to review their systems and procedures in order to be able to carry out new roles and tasks or relinquish some of those that they already have. These are subsequent actions that are likely to be conducted post the approval of the National Security Strategy.”