Police participate in ship boarding agreement workshop
May 13, 2011
Police participate in ship boarding agreement workshop

Members of the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force and members of related fields converged at the National Insurance Service Conference Room earlier this week for the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) Ship Boarding Agreement Workshop and Table Top Exercise.{{more}}

The workshop was geared at ensuring that there is a mutual understanding between both St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the United States of America on the implementation of Ship Boarding Agreements.

Director of the Counter Top Proliferation Initiative – US Department of State, Phillip Folly said that the ship boarding agreements that will be implemented have both a strategic and operational significance. He noted that the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction is an universal problem and it can occur anywhere and anytime through many means.

He pointed out that there are some significantly bad actors in the world that are seeking these weapons whether in Iran, Syria, North Korea or terrorist organizations like Al-Qaida that will stop at nothing to acquire and to use weapons of mass destruction be it biological, chemical or nuclear.

Folly noted that the focus of the worldwide effort of the PSI is to find out when these transactions are occurring and take action before they become a greater problem resulting in the use of these weapons of mass destruction.

He further added that the purpose of the table top exercise is to make sure that if or when they request a boarding of one of SVG’s flagged ship that the authorities will have the process, procedure and understanding to respond quickly.

Director of St. Vincent and the Grenadines Mari-time Affairs, David Robin noted that the event of September 11, 2001 launched us into what is considered an era of security.

Robin noted that as small as St. Vincent and the Grenadines is, the country’s role in the agreement is just as important as that of United States of America which is a larger and far more powerful state. He noted that “without mutual partnerships of states we firmly recognize that we cannot secure our world.”

Robin further stated that each country has different sizes and capabilities and therefore have to play different roles. He noted that in preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, SVG has a particular role in the area of maritime security.

He went on to say that as a flag ship state, ships are registered in SVG carrying their trade around the world. It is important that the authorities ensure that those ships are not used for the transport of weapons of mass destruction which can adversely affect humanity, he said.

Robin noted that by the end of this week they will expand the counter piracy initiative by promulgating a policy that will allow private arm guards aboard SVG flagged ships so that the situation of piracy which is now challenging the international community in an unprecedented manner in recent and modern time can be counteracted.

He noted that SVG is not only involved in counter proliferation of weapns of mass destruction but also counter piracy through other agreements. He said that as a responsible flag ship state this country has declared its position of making sure that it plays its role with and within the international community making sure that citizens are secure.