Let me begin by thanking the British High Commission and the Strategic Planning Unit (SPU) for organizing today’s event. I’m honored to be here today to make this equipment donation to the Strategic Planning Unit on behalf of the United States Government.
This donation valued at almost US$20,000 is just one of the most recent forms of assistance that the U.S. Government has provided through the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI) in furtherance of our efforts to increase justice sector capacity in Guyana. This computer equipment will allow the Strategic Planning Unit to do more of what it is supposed to do – which is strategic planning.
Since the establishment of CBSI in 2010, the USG has heavily supported efforts to combat the drug trade and other transnational crimes threatening the region through capacity building and equipment donations like this. The specific programs that US Embassy Georgetown administers seek to strengthen are law enforcement capabilities; counter illicit drug flows; combat transnational crime, and promote the rule of law.
Through donations like this, the US Embassy commits itself to assisting the Government of Guyana’s law enforcement institutions to promote the development of an accountable and professional criminal justice system. We hold citizen security as paramount, and applaud the government and the Strategic Planning Unit’s efforts to reform Guyana’s security sector.
We remain committed to assisting where possible because we have seen in the past that the US Government’s contributions here in Guyana have served as a “force multiplier,” where donated equipment and training resulted in increased officer efficiency. This results in better case management and improved investigations, in turn, contributing to improved regional security and stability from which we all benefit.
Despite a reported 11% decrease in serious crimes, more effort is still required to disrupt and defeat transnational threats and sustain public security. Informed decisions and sound strategies by policy makers enhance the effectiveness of the many who have received training and technical assistance from the U.S. government.
The Strategic Planning Unit is tasked with bringing harmony to these strategic law enforcement policies. The U.S. Government’s donation today is intended to enhance the operational capacity of the Strategic Planning Unit. It is our hope that our contribution will aid the Unit in its mandate and, by extension, assist the Guyana Police Force in its crime fighting efforts.
I take this opportunity to pledge the U.S. Government’s continued support to the Government of Guyana in developing its capacity to address the security challenges it faces today and our commitment to work with the United Kingdom and others on projects of joint interest.