Trinidad to host conference of Americas Defence Ministers

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Heads of Delegation at the Preparatory Meeting held in Trinidad and Tobago in April (Photo via XII CDMA)
Heads of Delegation at the Preparatory Meeting held in Trinidad and Tobago in April (Photo via XII CDMA)

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (Caribbean News Now) –The 12th Conference of Defence Ministers of the Americas (XII CDMA) will be held in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago from October 10-12, 2016. During this three-day conference an unprecedented number of ministers of defence and delegates from the 34 nation states representing the Americas are scheduled to attend.

Prior to this conference, a two-day preparatory meeting was held in April marking the initial rounds of discussions among nations, officially launching the conference.

Although this is the 12th biennial conference of defence ministers of the Americas since its inception in 1995, Trinidad and Tobago is the first Caribbean country to host this event. Previous host nations have included USA (1995), Argentina (1996), Columbia (1998), Brazil (2000), Chile (2002), Ecuador (2004), Nicaragua (2006), Canada (2008), Bolivia (2010), Uruguay (2012) and Peru (2014).

With the world’s eye on defence and security, the theme of this 12th conference is: Strengthening Defence and Security Cooperation in the Hemisphere in an Increasingly Volatile Global Environment.

XII CDMA LOGOThe overall purpose of the conference is “to foster mutual knowledge, analysis, debate and exchange of ideas and experiences on defense and security matters” in attempts to better contribute to the development of its member states (CDMA Regulations – Title II, Article 2). There are three ‘Thematic Axes’ that will govern this conference in light of the priority concerns facing this hemisphere.

With a shift in emphasis from the security of state to that of human security, these three Thematic Axes aim to address the following issues:

Axis I. Security and Defence of the Americas in a Changing International Environment: The Evolving Role of the Armed Forces

Axis II. Environmental Protection and Resilience

Axis III. Hemispheric Security and Defence Cooperation Policy: Beginning with Strengthened Humanitarian Emergency Assistance

Axis I. Security and Defence of the Americas in a Changing International Environment: The Evolving Role of the Armed Forces

Many CDMA nations are of the view that the changing defence and security climate requires states to adapt in order to effectively address new and emerging threats. As such, the objectives of Thematic Axis I are to discuss the evolving role of the military in:
• Providing humanitarian assistance and disaster response;
• Providing major event security;
• Providing critical infrastructure protection;
• Countering transnational organised crime;
• Addressing emerging technologies (cyber threats)

Axis II. Environmental Protection and Resilience

The concept behind Thematic Axis II is the utilisation of the military in environmental protection, environmental emergencies and natural disasters. Thus, the objectives of this Thematic Axis are:

• To consider the role of the military in the protection and resilience of the environment;
• To consider how actions of the military impact on the environment;
• To outline how the military might be affected by environmental and energy factors

Axis III. Hemispheric Security and Defence Cooperation Policy: Beginning with Strengthened Humanitarian Emergency Assistance

The objective of Thematic Axis III is to initiate dialogue towards the development of a Hemispheric Security and Defence Cooperation Policy, beginning with measures to strengthen the provision of Humanitarian Emergency Assistance.

The XII Conference will be attended by Spain and Germany, as well as a number of hemispheric institutions, as observers.

Major General (Ret’d) Edmund Dillon, Minister of National Security, will preside over the deliberations of the Ministers at the XII Conference.

In addition to the host nation of Trinidad and Tobago, the following 33 countries comprise the CDMA:

Antigua and Barbuda
Argentina
The Bahamas
Barbados
Belize
Bolivia
Brazil
Canada
Chile
Colombia
Costa Rica
Dominica
Dominican Republic
Ecuador
El Salvador
Grenada
Guatemala
Guyana
Haiti
Honduras
Jamaica
Mexico
Nicaragua
Panama
Paraguay
Peru
St Kitts and Nevis
Saint Lucia
St Vincent and the Grenadines
Suriname
United States of America
Uruguay
Venezuela

(Caribbean News Now)

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