CAS Ministers of Justice Conclude Successful Working Visit to Suriname
A high-level delegation comprising Ministers of Justice from Curaçao, Aruba, and Sint Maarten, along with Chiefs of Police, police officials, and policy advisors, concluded a productive working visit to the Republic of Suriname from Wednesday, August 23, 2023, to Saturday, August 26, 2023. The visit was organized at the invitation of the honorable Kenneth Amoksi, Minister of Justice and Police of Suriname.
The working visit commenced on Wednesday evening, August 23, 2023 with a warm and traditional Javanese welcome dinner hosted by Minister Amoksi for the delegation. The event provided a platform for meaningful interactions and discussions between the visiting dignitaries and their Surinamese counterparts. The occasion also underscored the historic significance of the collaboration between the Ministers of Justice of the four countries.
During the visit, the delegation was offered a comprehensive overview of Suriname's law enforcement and justice chain. The program included visits to key institutions such as the Youth Transit Center "Opa Doelie," the Combating Serious Crime unit, the Police Academy, the Command Center of the Suriname Police Force, the Central Penitentiary Santo Boma, and the Youth Correction Center. These visits were complemented by informative presentations by experts in various fields.
Particularly noteworthy was the visit to the pre-detention youth center "Opa Doelie," where Minister Anna E. Richardson of Sint Maarten expressed admiration for the integrated approach at the center involving multiple partners in the law enforcement chain. The Center's emphasis on education and resocialization of young detainees in collaboration with the Ministry of Education left a lasting impression.
At the Combating Serious Crime unit, the delegation received insights into transborder crime prevention, the fight against drug trafficking, and efforts to combat human trafficking and human smuggling. Presentations at the Police Academy shed light on police personnel recruitment and retention strategies, while a demonstration of a scenario involving Community Police Officers highlighted real-life challenges.
The representatives from Curacao, Aruba, and Sint Maarten, engaged with Surinamese officials in discussions about enhancing cross-border cooperation, combating crime, and strengthening ties between the countries. The delegation also made a courtesy visit to the President of the Surinamese Parliament, Mr. Marinus Bee, where the importance of renewing and strengthening the working relationships among the parliaments of the four countries was emphasized. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Business and International Cooperation Mr. Ramdin was also paid a visit for a discussion on common interests. The delegation further had the opportunity to meet with the President of the Republic of Suriname, Mr Chandrikapersad Santokhi. In the meeting with the President, the close relationship between the countries was highlighted along with the potential for increased cooperation. President Santokhi further expressed that he very much looked forward to visiting the countries in the future.
The working visit culminated on Saturday, August 26, 2023, with the signing of a Declaration of Intent in which the participating countries declared their intention to establish cooperation with regard to, the wish to hold annual consultations at ministerial level in order to coordinate a joint judicial strategy, and to create a platform for the exchange of knowledge on judicial strategy and judicial frameworks.
Minister Anna E. Richardson expressed her satisfaction with the outcome of the working visit, commending her colleagues' willingness to collaborate. She noted that the delegation's immersion in Suriname's institutions provided invaluable insights into its operations.
The working visit marked a significant step towards increased cooperation and joint efforts to ensure security and justice across the Caribbean region. The participants expressed optimism about the prospect of continued collaboration and the strengthening of ties between the nations.