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Feb 3, 2012

OAS and Police Ministry work on Security Issues

Security is one of the biggest headaches for the government and work has been ongoing between the Organization of American States and the Ministry of Police. At the helm of the project is OAS Secretary for Multi-Dimensional Security, Adam Blackwell, who is currently in Belize. Ambassador Blackwell has been busy in meetings with the Minister of Police and the Financial Intelligence Unit on Wednesday and with the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Defense as well as Restore Belize on Thursday. But he took time out to provide an update on the areas that need attention and the steps being taken. According to Blackwell, former Canadian Commissioner of Police, Gerry Lynch, has been in Belize since September working with Minister Doug Singh in an advisory capacity to effect change in the Police Department.

Ambassador Adam Blackwell, Secretary for Multi-Dimensional Security, OAS

Adam Blackwell

“At the invitation of Ambassador Mendez, I came to Belize in June last year to look at some concrete things we could do to help Belize within the context of the security challenges it faced. And when I say security challenges, I mean more of the public or citizen security challenges and less of the national defense. We immediately established with Minister Singh and others that there was some work to be done in the police department and through that contact we were able to provide or contract with a former Canadian police commissioner to come and work with the minister to evaluate the police services with a view to making recommendations on how we could help work together to improve them. The other thing that we looked at, which is reflective of the title, multi-dimensional security, is what we call the chain of connected pieces that make for a safe and healthy society. One of the great projects that I was able to see here, Restore Belize, I was also able to see some projects that the OAS has been able to support in helping create employment through seamstress work and through cooking schools.”

Nestor Mendez

Nestor Mendez, Belize Ambassador to the US

“We are making very good use of the proximity in our day to day operations with the Secretariat. We are seeing that there is a lot that the OAS can contribute at this moment in some of the very specific security related needs that we have in Belize. We think there is tremendous potential for development in many areas and we’re certainly looking forward to working closely with him to continue this relationship.”

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