Categorized | National News

PM Urged Regional Leaders to Save the Nation’s Youth

The Bahamas hosted the United States-Caribbean High-Level Citizen Security Dialogue (HLCSD) last Thursday, where Prime Minister Perry Christie urged the representatives of all countries in attendance to focus on a recommitment to save the nation’s youth.

“Too many of our young people are at risk of falling victims to drug abuse. Guns fuel deadly drug feuds. As a result, our criminal justice systems are heavily overburdened and prisons over- crowded.” said Mr. Christie.

“I have spoken so many times about this issue that some may think that I am broken record, but I never tire of saying so. We must address the problem of youth unemployment, the question of young male dysfunction, the joblessness and the sense of hopelessness among our young. This is so in the United States and it is so across the region.”

The Bahamas hosted the dialogue on the fifth anniversary of the establishment of the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI), which aims to invoke conversation focused on citizen safety throughout the hemisphere.

According to Prime Minister Christie, The Bahamas is as well by accident of geography, caught in the middle in relation to both human and drug trafficking.

“We straddle the two lanes and flight paths between the producer countries in South America and the vast consumer markets in North America. In short, we are caught in the middle principally as transit states,” he said.

“The Bahamas, much like other Caribbean states, has a long history of cooperation on law enforcement and security matters with the United States of America. Critical though it is, we recognize that CBSI or more broadly the use of military and two policing efforts alone will not provide a quick fix for the many security challenges facing the countries of the Caribbean and the United States. Rather, CBSI is grounded in the region’s realities and reflects the traditional cooperative relationship with the United States.”

United States Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Roberta S. Jacobson also brought remarks and explained that leadership in CARICOM has been and remains invaluable in cooperation for security matters across the Caribbean.

“For us, this occasion reaffirms the enduring engagement we have in the region fostered in particular by Vice President Biden’s engagement with Caribbean leaders over the past few years and most recently his January 2015 summit in Washington with regional leaders,” said Ms. Jacobson.

“Today represents an opportunity for us to continue those frank conversations that can help us enhance the impact of our collective efforts to determine if the threats of today are likely to remain the threats of tomorrow and where we should focus our energy.”

While in The Bahamas, Ms. Jacobson along with several other representatives from the US met with and engaged in conversation with senior government officials and other leaders from the private, education and civil society sector.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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