To ensure the stability and well-being of Member States through mutual cooperation, in order to maximise regional security in preserving the social and economic development of our people.
The Regional Security System (RSS) was created out of a need for a collective response to security threats, which were impacting on the stability of the region in the early 1970,s and 1980’s. In October 1982, four members of the Organisation of the Eastern Caribbean States, namely, Antigua & Barbuda, Dominica, St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Barbados to provide for “mutual assistance on request”. St. Kitts and Nevis joined after gaining independence in September 1983 and Grenada in January 1985. The MOU was updated in 1992 and the RSS acquired juridical status in March 1996 by way of the Treaty which was signed in St. Georges, Grenada.
The memorandum made provisions for a fast-moving non-bureaucratic organization which could react to the security needs of Member States if requested. This was first demonstrated in October 1983 when, together with the military forces of the United States of America and Jamaica, the RSS deployed troops to Grenada to restore democracy after a period of political upheaval. This intervention would have been impossible without the mutual cooperation and understanding which is characteristic of the Regional Security System response mechanism found in the Memorandum of Understanding and later on in the Treaty Establishing the RSS. The Regional Security System is a “hybrid” organisation, in that its security forces comprise both military and police personnel who remain under the command of their respective Heads.
“Strength through unity”
The RSS has additional responsibilities to the wider CARICOM region as indicated under the Treaty on Security Assistance (TSA). The TSA identifies RSS Headquarters as part of the regional response mechanism. RSS Headquarters which is located in Barbados, is the Coordinating Secretariat of the CARICOM Security Assistance Mechanism. As a result, the Executive Director, RSS has additional responsibilities to the wider CARICOM region. Under the TSA, he is the Coordinator of the Security Assistance Mechanism and a member of the Joint Strategic Coordinating and Planning Committee.
Traditionally, the RSS was concerned with traditional security threats of an operational nature namely illicit drugs and arms trafficking and internal security. However, given the dynamism within the international security environment, the Executive Director guided by the provisions in the Treaty Establishing the RSS (1996), has embraced the need to have a clear understanding of other non-traditional criminogenic environments which undoubtedly affect the national security of Member States. This has led to the establishment of new departments at the RSS Headquarters to carry out research on areas affecting national security, as well as analysing the crime patterns and trends, in order to establish evidence-based programmes to assist Member States in coping with the dynamics of national development.
“Integrity, Service, Creativity & Team work”
To preserve the peace and stability of the region by delivering world-class, professional, effective and efficient services through cooperative engagement with partner nations, the security sector and the peoples of the region.
Commitment to the vision statement
Achievement to professionalism and integrity in the delivery of services to the Member States
Commitment to achieving high-quality results showing initiative and innovation