Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller has told the UN Security Council that transnational organized crime represents the gravest security threat to Jamaica and its neighbours in the Caribbean.
Mrs. Simpson Miller was speaking today at the UN Security Council debate on peace and security threats facing Jamaica and other small island developing states, SIDS.
Her statement at the UN headquarters in New York comes amid a 20-percent spike in murders in Jamaica.
Mrs. Simpson Miller says Jamaica, like other small island developing states, are still plagued by the guns for drugs trade, which remains a principal strategy of the international criminal network.
She says money laundering activities in the region are fostering transnational crimes.
Mrs. Simpson Miller says these threats have been given primary status under Jamaica’s national development plan.
She says her administration has strengthened efforts to degrade the capabilities of organized criminal gangs and has directed resources to address the shameful crime of human trafficking.
This she says includes the appointment of a Trafficking in Persons Rapporteur.
The Prime Minister told her colleagues at the UN that her administration has invested heavily in technology, equipment and training for the security forces, within the constraints of limited financial resources.
She told them that domestic policy responses to the various threats to peace and security have been coordinated.
But she conceded that the efforts are insufficient.
She says gains have been made with notable reductions in some categories of crime.
The Prime Minister says her government continues to engage with their CARICOM counterparts to establish a regional security framework.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister says it’s time for the international community to give serious consideration to writing off 1-hundred percent of the debt owed to multilateral lenders by small island developing states such as Jamaica.
Mrs. Simpson Miller says the hard reality is that the development of Caribbean economies is being hampered by unsustainable levels of public debt, averaging 70-percent.