Work ongoing to develop CARICOM’s border control plan – Benn


Minister of Home Affairs Robeson Benn recently outlined the Caribbean Community’s (CARICOM’s) ambitious plan to establish a single space for border control and scrutiny of persons entering the region.

“We are working at creating a single domestic space in CARICOM that when you enter one country, you would enter all in the region at the level of border control and scrutiny,” Minister Benn explained at a recent high-level Regional Security System (RSS) meeting.

Speaking amidst preparations for the upcoming ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024, Benn stressed the importance of managing increased security demands. He revealed that suspicious persons are already using the T20 World Cup as a reason to enter the region.

“I know that our schedules and the demands on us would be more difficult now that the cricket World Cup is upon us.

“In fact we are already getting request that [persons] are coming to see cricket now from certain countries but the cricket hasn’t started as yet,” Benn revealed.

This year’s T20 World Cup will run from June 4-30, with matches in six CARICOM member states: Guyana, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago. Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago will host two semi-final matches each, and the final will be in Barbados on June 29.

Minister of Home Affairs Robeson Benn (Photo: DPI)

Meanwhile, locally, Benn also spoke about “filtering” persons entering the country.

“Our filtering and prevention and refusing which makes some persons unhappy is underway and I want to remind ourselves that we have to look out for that phenomena in our respective jurisdictions,” the Home Affairs Minister said as he addressed members of the RSS.

Speaking about handling future crises, Benn emphasised the region’s need and importance for upskilling in response to evolving threats.
“We have the ability and the human resources to skill up, to learn, to educate in response to these crises, the gaps we have could be filled by more rapid and intense communication and leadership,” Benn stated.

In underscoring the necessity for robust leadership, particularly at the “middle level”, Benn said this will ensure the effective implementation of training and maintain professionalism within the security sectors.

“Perhaps we go too easily into a relaxed mood. The command at the top have the responsibility for continuous iterative training so that the integrity and professionalism of the security units can be enhanced,” Benn noted.

He also called for enhanced personnel exchanges to bolster regional security forces and advocated for cross-border collaboration.
“A policeman or woman in St Kitts and Nevis could come to Guyana and impart how it is done there,” Benn said.

Increasing people-to-people contact and exchanges, Benn concluded, will strengthen the region’s resilience and readiness to address any challenges that may arise.

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