Basseterre, St. Kitts, February 21, 2018 (SKNIS): Delegates from several CARIFORUM-member states, the Organization of American States (OAS), and the European Union (EU) are in St. Kitts to brainstorm and formulate strategies on drug abuse and its prevention that will be implemented in countries across the Caribbean region.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Security, Osmond Petty, welcomed the participants during an opening ceremony on Wednesday (February 21) and noted that this is the second of a two-part workshop that began last Monday. The first was held on February 19 and 20, and was dubbed the CARICOM Regional Drug Demand Reduction Strategy Workshop. This was followed by Wednesday’s OAS Regional National Drug Strategy Workshop, which ends on Thursday (February 21). Both meetings were held at the Ocean Terrace Inn.
Mr. Petty highlighted the challenges posed by the illegal use of marijuana and the trafficking of narcotics and said the leadership in the local Ministry of National Security was looking forward to receiving suggestions and a plan to addresses the myriad issues that St. Kitts and Nevis, and the wider Caribbean Region face from the challenges of drugs.
Beverly Reynolds of the CARICOM Secretariat also welcomed the dialogue and added that it was important to update current strategies in the Caribbean and to support their design and development. She encouraged participants to think outside the box in coming up with the solutions, and to bear in mind the value of inclusiveness and collaboration in developing effective strategies and their implementation.
Vice Chairman of the National Drug Council, Dennis Michael Morton, saluted the regional directors and decision makers for their commitment in the fight against drugs, which contributes to the overall safety, security and wellbeing of the respective people and nations.
“Daunting though the task may be, we continue to remain hopeful that through meetings and actions such as this one, we will one day deliver the fruits of our hard work and commitment,” he said.
Mr. Morton added that “our citizens deserve a society that is not controlled by drug use, abuse, trafficking, violence and crime.
The vice chairman thanked the CARICOM Secretariat, EU, and OAS for contributing to the hosting of the workshops.