THURSDAY, 12 JULY 2012
~ During Arrindell’s, Duncan’s visit to Interpol HQ ~
LYON– Interpol Secretary-General Ronald K. Noble has lauded St. Maarten’s commitment to international law enforcement cooperation and has pointed out that St. Maarten has much to contribute to the global policing community.
“I have seen firsthand how St. Maarten’s leadership is committed to its police receiving the necessary support, training and resources to confront existing and emerging crime threats worldwide,” Noble was quoted as saying when he met with President of Parliament Gracita Arrindell and Minister of Justice Roland Duncan at Interpol Headquarters in Lyon, France, on Monday.
Noble, who visited St. Maarten in April, noted that St. Maarten was a holiday destination for people who visited from all over the world every year and said Interpol looked forward to continuing to work closely with St. Maarten’s authorities to ensure that St. Maarten “remains safe for both citizens and visitors alike.”
Arrindell and Duncan met with Noble at the world police body’s General Secretariat headquarters as part of mutual efforts to promote global law enforcement collaboration.
According to a press release issued by Interpol, high on the agenda during the visit was Interpol’s role in supporting and connecting police in St. Maarten with the organisation’s global tools and services, including its Stolen and Lost Travel Document database containing almost 33 million items from more than 160 countries.
In this respect, Arrindell hailed the connection of St. Maarten’s airport and seaport to Interpol’s databases via mobile or fixed access provided by Interpol’s MIND/FIND technology.
Noting that St. Maarten is a key holiday destination for close to two million visitors a year, Arrindell said, “Screening cruise-ship manifests and air arrivals against Interpol’s Stolen and Lost Travel Document database will keep citizens and visitors in St. Maarten safer than they would otherwise be and will therefore strengthen the country’s reputation for being a safe and secure tourist destination.”
She said existing and emerging threats such as human- and drug-trafficking, the illicit trade in firearms, money-laundering, corruption and cyber-crime also had topped the agenda during the visit.
Duncan underlined the need for Interpol and St. Maarten to further extend Interpol’s resources to all law enforcement components in the country.
“It is absolutely essential that all of St. Maarten’s law enforcement authorities gain access to Interpol’s global tools and services so as to establish seamless coordination and cooperation between them and with Interpol’s global network. This will enhance information exchange and the capacity of our law enforcement officers to address crime,” he said.
In a press release issued Wednesday by the Press Secretary of Parliament, Arrindell was reported as saying that the working visit certainly had emphasised the need to stay on course and follow up with the action plans as discussed at the seminar held in St. Maarten earlier this year.
She said the opportunities for mutual beneficial cooperation between Interpol, an effectively-managed global entity, and St. Maarten were clear and “it’s up to us as a country to step up to the plate and do our share to the benefit of our citizens and visitors alike.”
Arrindell thanked Noble for his vision and continued support in St. Maarten’s endeavours.
The St. Maarten delegation’s programme included presentations by several key management staff of Interpol, including what Arrindell said had been excellent overviews of present and near future action plans of Interpol provided by Executive Director of Police Services Jean-Michel Louboutin, Sub-Directorate for America Assistant Director Rosinete de Santana Barbosa, and Interpol Global Complex for Innovation Executive Director Noboru Nakatani.
The St. Maarten delegation also visited and received a presentation about the Command and Coordination Centre by its Assistant Director Emanuel Leclaire.