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Weekly Spotlight: 3 September 2023


1. Canadian Mounted Police Assist Turks and Caicos Islands Border Security Force

Members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) have embarked on a joint exercise alongside the Turks and Caicos Islands Ministry of Immigration and Border Services to provide improvements to local border security. According to reports from the Turks and Caicos Islands’ Governor’s Office, the joint initiative covers an array of border security topics ranging from immigration enforcement to specialist policing tactics. On 25 August, Governor Dileeni Daniel-Selvaratnam met with visiting RCMP officers to formally thank them for their support in providing the territory’s border security force with expertise, resources, and channels for future cooperation.


2. Guyana Approves Establishment of New Defence Institute

During a passing-out ceremony held at State House on 31 August, Commander-in-Chief of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) President Irfaan Ali announced the formation of a new defence institute to provide specialist training for senior military officials. Reports indicate that the new institute will train officers in a wide range of skills beyond the traditional areas of security studies, including foreign policy, Spanish language, and leadership. In his address to newly commissioned officers, President Ali stated the need for modern GDF soldiers to be equipped with new skills such as “cybersecurity, problem-solving, and diplomacy” to supplement more traditional requirements such as physical fitness and marksmanship. President Ali further elaborated that the training provided by the new defence institute will allow the GDF to “respond to any threats that may arise,” and to remain a “truly effective organisation.”


3. Kenya Concludes Youth Ethical Hacking Training Week

A spokesman from the Communication Authority of Kenya (CA) has called for greater focus on preparing young Kenyans to defend national interests against cyber-attacks, following the conclusion of the CA’s cybersecurity hackathon and boot camp on 01 September. The week-long event aimed to provide young people with the opportunity to practice “white hat” hacking, in which members attempt to deliberately penetrate systems, databases, and networks to identify flaws in their cybersecurity arrangements. This initiative was launched to better safeguard Kenyan businesses and state institutions against hacking attempts, with over 860 million cyber threats identified against critical national infrastructure in 2022 alone.


4. International Cybersecurity Training Program Hosted in Vijayawada

From 28 August to 01 September, Koneru Lakshmaiah University hosted an international cybersecurity training program run by the Andhra Pradesh State Skill Development Corporation (APSSDC) and the Consortium for Technical Education (CTE). The five-day program included events such as interactive lectures, practical workshops, and networking sessions, all of which aimed to facilitate the exchange of cybersecurity knowledge between private and public sector experts from around the world. Speaking during the event’s opening ceremony on 28 August, APSDDC CEO Dr Vinod Kumar emphasised the event’s importance in equipping young people with the technological skills upon which today’s jobs are becoming increasingly dependent, and that such initiatives would make the next generation “future ready”.


5. Commonwealth Security Representatives Attend Joint Heads of Pacific Security Summit

Delegations from across the Asia-Pacific region, including from several commonwealth nations including Australia, Fiji, and Papua New Guinea, met for the fifth annual Joint Heads of Pacific Security (JHoPS) meeting from 23-24 August in Koror, Palau. The meeting welcomed senior representatives from militaries, police forces, and national security agencies from across the region to discuss methods of facilitating inter-state cooperation in areas such as immigration, the control of fisheries, and common security policy. A joint communiqué issued on the final day of the summit emphasised the need for increased coordination and communication between regional security agencies, and outlined ambitions to work towards a common regional treaty framework applicable to all member states.

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