Bahamas to push for public-private partnership as CICTE Chair

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Nassau, The Bahamas – The Bahamas will begin its tenure as “Chair” of the Inter-American Committee against Terrorism (CICTE) on Wednesday (March 17, 2010), with a push towards the establishment of Public-Private Sector Partnerships (PPPs) in the fight against Terrorism when the group’s Tenth Regular Session gets underway in Washington, DC, USA.
It will mark the first time that PPPs will receive the kind of consideration and attention they will at the Tenth Regular Session even though previous Declarations issued by CICTE have made reference to the important role the private sector can play in the fight against terrorism.

Bahamian National Security Officials say the establishment of a broad-based Public-Private Sector Partnership in the fight against terrorism will be high on their agenda as PPP’s are critical in the war on terrorism and transnational crimes – particularly with regards to small-island nations such as The Bahamas.

Additionally, there are six broad-based goals and objectives The Bahamian delegation is expected to pursue during its tenure as Chair of CICTE.

These include advancing the country’s efforts in fighting terrorism; to cause The Bahamas to develop a national counter-terrorism strategy and to improve the capacities and capabilities of Bahamian agencies and institutions to address the challenges of terrorism “in a holistic way”.

Additional goals are to ensure that specific programs, workshops and seminars are developed that would benefit The Bahamas and other small-island states in combating terrorism; to establish a broad-based Public-Private Partnership (PPP) in the fight against terrorism. Another goal is to ratify the Inter-American Convention against Terrorism.
“Public-Private Partnerships are progressive institutions that seek to mobilize national resources, be they public or private, human or material, in the fight against a common threat,” National Security officials say.

“PPP’s are established out of a recognition that expertise, skills, intelligence and resources do not repose in one sector, but exists throughout. It is also recognition that the most effective national strategies, though led by Government, require the involvement of private and civil sectors.

“In effective crime-fighting strategies, the role of the public is critical, indeed the catchword in fighting crime is partnership,” Officials say. “Moving forward, what is required of The Bahamas, among other things, is the design and development of a dedicated counter-terrorism Public-Private Partnership. Our prominence in CICTE at this time will help advance this agenda.”

Minister of National Security, the Hon OAT “Tommy” Turnquest will head the Bahamian delegation to Washington to participate in the Meetings. Mr Turnquest leaves New Providence on Tuesday.

He will be accompanied by Mr Peter Deveaux-Isaacs, Under Secretary in the Ministry of National Security. The Sessions run March 17-19.

CICTE is an entity of the Organization of American States (OAS) that was established in conformity with the OAS Charter. Its main purpose is to promote and develop cooperation among Member-States in order to prevent, combat and eliminate terrorism in accordance with the principles of the OAS Convention against Terrorism, and with full respect of the sovereignty of states, the rule of international law, including humanitarian, international human rights and international refugee laws.

CICTE also provides technical assistance and training for Member States in response to their needs and requests, and coordinates with other international, regional and sub-regional organizations.

It hosts one Regular Session each year as a forum for discussion and decision-making on counter-terrorism issues, measures and cooperation.

The 2010 Session will be held under the theme: “Private-Public Partnerships in the Fight against Terrorism” which was proposed by The Bahamas and readily agreed upon by Member-States.

“The ongoing enhancement of capacity, capability and organization of the country’s key national security and law enforcement agencies by the Government of The Bahamas in the fight against terrorism is a necessary one which must go in tandem with the establishment of broad-based public-private partnerships,” National Security Officials said.