Dues not being paid to regional security unit

St. John’s — A representative of one of the major donor governments of the Regional Security System said some member states are not paying dues and it is a worrying sign as it relates to the sustainability of the unit.

Canada’s High Commissioner to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Richard Hanley, yesterday, said while Canada was committed to continuing to assist the RSS, member-states that owe dues need to clear the arrears.

“In an era of fiscal restraint, where demands for assistance are many and resources are scarce, it is more important than ever to ensure that Canada chooses to support institutions whose membership demonstrates its own commitment.

“In this regard, the non-payment of dues by a number of RSS nations is a worrying sign. In the short term the RSS would benefit from consistent core financial support from all of its members,” Hanley said.

At the time, he was addressing representatives of the seven RSS member states and other partners that support the unit.

The RSS membership comprises Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts Nevis, St. Lucia and St. Vincent & the Grenadines.

Donors concerned

Hanley did not go into detail of who owes what, but he noted that Canada is not the only donor to have expressed concern.

“We met with other donor countries in Bridgetown and Ottawa and a shared concern is the sustainability of the security institution in the Caribbean,” he revealed.

The official said the RSS member states should consider the costs or effects on the region should the unit fall apart.

“We appreciate the ongoing impact of the global economic downturn on the region; the vulnerability of the RSS member states’ economies to external shocks; severe limits on governments’ abilities to meet RSS financial obligations and to expand investments in security activities, but the value of the work undertaken by the RSS is so very easy to see,” Hanley told the gathering. (Antigua Observer)

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