Basseterre, St. Kitts – In a landmark event aimed at bolstering cybersecurity across the Caribbean, the CARICOM Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS) Cybercrime and Cybersecurity Sensitization Sessions kicked off in St. Kitts and Nevis on January 16, 2024, at the Koi Resort Antara Conference Room.
The sessions, which will conclude on January 17, are crucial for the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis and the broader Caribbean region. It is dedicated to raising awareness among senior government officials about the vulnerabilities of public networks and the pressing need to develop robust strategies against the growing threat of cybercrime.
St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, the Honourable Dr. Terrance Drew, who delivered the featured address, emphasised the urgency of the issue.
“I welcome this event to really sensitise us from the top and it is expected to be filtered down to all of our people. My presence here highlights the importance of cybersecurity to our national development,” said Prime Minister Dr. Drew. “This, of course, is a serious risk. Each time I hear that we are hit anywhere, I consider and I think greatly what the losses that we could suffer are. Our banks, institutions – when they are hit, what are the repercussions and then the question becomes how do we protect ourselves?”
In a powerful call to action, Dr. Drew urged a collective and comprehensive effort to address the critical issue of cybersecurity.
“Governments cannot do it alone. It needs the partnership of private companies to strengthen the cybersecurity and resilience of the critical services and technologies on which citizens depend. Therefore, we must have a collective responsibility to respond and protect our critical infrastructure,” said the national security minister. “We must build awareness, capacity and resilience. We can achieve these noble goals through cooperation. CARICOM IMPACS is providing the necessary leadership for addressing cybersecurity issues. We must continue to build and strengthen cooperation in the region so that we can effectively prepare for and respond to such risks,” Dr. Drew further added.
Dr. Drew used the occasion to especially thank CARICOM IMPACS and the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) for their invaluable support and organisation of this crucial programme.
The Programme will benefit CARIFORUM Member States, Antigua & Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, Saint Kitts & Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and the Dominican Republic.