GEORGETOWN, Guyana – From July 27 – 31, 2020, CARICOM Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS) will host the first-ever Virtual Security Conference in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) under the heading of ‘Securing Our Caribbean Community within the era of COVID-19 and Beyond’.
The crisis presented by coronavirus (COVID-19) is unprecedented in CARICOM. In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, governments across the region imposed several measures, including social distancing, restrictions, border closures and suspension of non-essential services to prevent the spread of the pandemic. In support of these measures, law enforcement and security officials played a crucial role to prevent and control the spread of the virus, while at the same time managing and operating within the changing multi-dimensional security environment.
In an effort to understand how the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the security environment and the operations of law enforcement and security officials, as well as to identify best practices that can be applied to similar situations in the future; CARICOM IMPACS will bring together a network of practitioners, security experts, government officials, academics, private sector representatives and civil society officials to discuss the challenges, impact and implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on the security of our region.
The virtual conference will address the following thematic areas such as:
- Peace, security and development – A roadmap for the future in the context of COVID-19;
- Criminality & organised crime during COVID-19: Present and future trends;
- Policing in the time of a pandemic- lesson learnt;
- Enhancing cybersecurity in the age of COVID-19;
- COVID-19 and the future of borders;
- Crisis and gender based violence;
- Climate change and security- building resilience in Small Island Developing States (SIDS);
- Impact and implications of COVID-19 on prisons and correctional services; and
- Maritime security and the blue economy.
The CARICOM virtual security conference will gather leading representatives from government, regional and international agencies, academia, private sector and civil society organisations to discuss the impact and implications of COVID 19 and measures to respond.
Specifically, the virtual security conference will:
- Consider how COVID-19 is shaping the security landscape today and in the future;
- Identify how COVID-19 has impacted criminality and organized crime and the implications for the future;
- Facilitate the constructive exchange of information, best practices and lessons identified during the COVID-19 outbreak, so that states can strengthen their abilities to continue to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and prepare and response to future pandemics;
- Assess and evaluate the threats and opportunities created by the COVID-19 pandemic;
- Explore how the pandemic impacted law enforcement and security officials roles, responsibilities and standard operating procedures, resilience and food security among other issues;
- Provide a consultative forum for discussion between leading practitioners and representatives from the government, regional and international agencies, academia, private sector and civil society. This is especially important when speaking of border security and border movements post-pandemic.
The virtual conference will serve as source material for the development of a “Lessons Learnt and Guidance Document for Preparing for and Responding to Threats such as Pandemics and other crises”.