Basseterre, St Kitts & Nevis: Prime Minister and Minister of National Security Commissions National Security Taskforce Dr Terrance Drew, to maintain and ensure the Sustainable National Development of the citizens, addressed the issues of Crime and Violence as Public Health issues on Monday, June 5, 2023.

The Prime Minister of Saint Kitts and Nevis and Minister of National Security, Dr Terrance Drew, in order to ensure sustainable national development of the nation, has commissioned a National Security Taskforce to initiate the rollout of a new initiative that approaches crime and Violence from a public health perspective.

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As per the Update, The National Security Taskforce is comprised of the Prime Minister, Minister of National Security and Chairperson, Dr Terrance Drew, Dr Izben Williams and senior management officials from across the Government, including the Ministry of National Security, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Social Development, and the Prime Minister’s Office.

Dr Izben Williams, a renowned Consultant Psychiatrist, Founder and President of the Ripple Institute SKN, Professor and Head of the Department of Behavioral Sciences & Medical Ethics, and Associate Dean of Faculty Affairs and Faculty Development at Windsor University School of Medicine, will lead the initiative as the expert in the field across the region.

In his keynote address at the Regional Symposium, Dr Williams made certain statements on considering Violence as a Public Health issue and stated, “Violence can be prevented. We now know we have developed tools, and we must harness the courage to face it and reverse its trend. Violence is now clearly recognized as a public health problem, but 40 years ago, the words “violence” and “health” were rarely used in the same sentence. Several serendipitous occurrences and observed trends contributed to a growing recognition and acceptance that Violence could and should be addressed from a public health vantage.”

While emphasizing the nation’s sustainable development, the Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, Dr Terrance, shared that Societal peace and stability are prerequisites for true social and economic development and for accomplishing progressive Sustainable Island State Agenda. He added, “I strongly believe that what is learned can be unlearned if there is an early application of best-practice interventions from various sectors.”