BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, June 28, 2017 (Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – Retired Major General Stewart Saunders of Jamaica was today, Wednesday, June 28, introduced to Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris as the National Security Advisor-designate for St. Kitts and Nevis during a brief meeting at Government Headquarters.
Major General Saunders’ appointment as National Security Advisor was approved by the Federal Cabinet and the retired army chief is in St. Kitts and Nevis this week finalizing his contract and meeting with high ranking members of the security forces and other National Security stakeholders.
During Wednesday’s meeting, which was also attended by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Security, Osmond Petty, Major General Saunders gave Prime Minister Harris a firm commitment that he will do all he can to reverse the trend of crime and violence in St. Kitts and Nevis.
He said, “The problem does not exists in St. Kitts and Nevis alone, but it’s a wider Caribbean problem. Your concern however, is for the state and I appreciate that very much, and I assure you that I shall do everything within my powers to ensure that this state is brought back to normality.”
Prime Minister Harris, who also serves as Minister of National Security, personally thanked the Major General for responding to the position of National Security Advisor.
“You would come to the position knowing that at this time there is great anxiety in the community,” Dr. Harris told Major General Saunders.
The prime minister noted that St. Kitts and Nevis is now in a situation where homicides moved from a single figure in 2005 to a high of 34 in 2011 and the Federation “never really turned back in terms of a double-digit, negative performance with respect to homicides.”
“It is something that the Team Unity Administration pledged to the country that we will do all in our power to reverse and we are still committed to do that,” the prime minister continued. “We are prepared to make the investment because we believe from the investment must come a peace dividend – a peace dividend that allows the country to grow, our people to reach their full potential and to contribute to the shared prosperity which we promised.”
Prime Minister Harris updated Major General Saunders on some of the initiatives undertaken by the Government to stem the instances of violent crimes, including the provision of the largest ever budgetary support to the Ministry of National Security of $72 million in the 2017 Budget.
“It means that much has been given and the public therefore has reasonable expectations that much will be delivered,” Dr. Harris said.
Retired Major General Stewart Saunders is a Strategic Security Practitioner and Educator with over forty years of experience at the tactical, operational and strategic levels.
He has a wealth of experience in the management of natural and man-made disasters, crime management, public safety and security, crisis management, security and risk assessments. As a military professional, he achieved his highest rank, Major General, and retired as Chief of Defence Staff of the Jamaica Defence Force in October 2010. He was appointed Senior Consultant/Advisor in National Security matters in 2012 and later, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Security.
Major General Saunders has been highly recommended by the Executive Director of CARICOM Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS), as well as senior Government and military referees in Jamaica from the agencies where he has worked.