Canadian Minister Announces $5.3 million CAD Support for the Regional Security System (RSS)
Diane Ablonczy, Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consular Affairs), just announced increased support for regional security projects in the Caribbean that well help to improve security in the hemisphere and fight the problem of organized crime.
Canadian support will help to equip the Regional Security System (RSS), a collective security organization for the eastern Caribbean, with new radar, infrared scanners and avionics for its air wing. Minister Ablonczy made the announcement at the E.T. Joshua Airport in Kingstown and was joined by partners including Ralph Gonsalves, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines’ Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, National Security, Grenadines Affairs and Legal Affairs, and Grantley Watson, Executive Director of the RSS.
“Canada is committed to working with our partners in the Caribbean to build a more prosperous and secure hemisphere for all peoples of the Americas,” said Minister Ablonczy. “By supporting the Regional Security System, Canada is improving safety in the region and helping to detect, disrupt and deter criminal organizations who work to bring drugs and contraband north.”
Support for these projects, in the amount of approximately $5.3 million, will be provided through the Government of Canada’s Anti-Crime Capacity Building Program (ACCBP). The support will go toward upgrades to the forward-looking infrared radar capacity and aircraft sensors for the RSS air wing and to upgrade communications networking between the air wing and member-state coast guards and police forces.
These projects have been developed in partnership with the United States’ Caribbean Basin Security Initiative, which is currently implementing a program for refurbishing the RSS air wing.
This announcement builds upon previous Canadian efforts to support security and stability in the Caribbean. Since 2009, Canada has contributed approximately $20 million through the ACCBP to support police professionalization, justice reform, the fight against illicit drug trafficking, anti-corruption projects and anti-money-laundering efforts.