BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, October 5, 2018 (Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, has reiterated his support for National Security Advisor (NSA), (Ret.) Major General Stewart Saunders and the valuable knowledge and experience he brings to the national security apparatus in St. Kitts and Nevis.
The national security advisor, which is a post prescribed by law, is a public officer and the chief professional advisor on national security matters in the Office of the Prime Minister, and is appointed in accordance with Section 79 of the Constitution of St. Kitts and Nevis.
As National Security Advisor, Major General Saunders will, among other things, contribute to the formulation of national security policies and serve on any committee, commission, board or authority that deals with issues of national security at the direction of the Prime Minister.
Responding to a question regarding the tenure and performance of the national security advisor posed at his press conference on Thursday, October 5, Prime Minister Harris said, “The NSA has been a valued complement to our national security framework, and he brings independent information and advice to the prime minister, who, according to the Constitution, he must provide that advice to.”
Dr. Harris continued, “The National Security Advisor is intended to bring, as he has brought, the breadth of his experience and knowledge of security systems, security challenges and threats to help the various institutions do a better job.”
The National Security Minister noted that one major impact the NSA has had on the security apparatus was to get the various law enforcement agencies to step out of their silos and start operating closer together “so that we have a coordinated response to security.”
Prime Minister Harris insisted that Major General Saunders has brought meaningful value and insight on a number of programmes and policies that were recently introduced by the Ministry of National Security including its social intervention programmes as well as the National Security Strategy Formulation Committee (NSSFC).
Assistant Commissioner of Police with responsibility for the Crime Directorate, Mr. Andre Mitchell also weighed in the role of the national security advisor, noting that Major General Saunders has brought additional expertise that has enhanced the operations of the security forces.
Major General Saunders brought over 40 years of experience to the post of National Security Advisor. As a military professional, Mr. Saunders 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.