Ambassador Robert J. Faucher’s Remarks at the Opening of Perry Center Training Monday, October 30, 2023, 09:30, Torarica Banquet Hall

COL Kioe A Sen
Perry Center Staff,
Participants from the various Ministries and Department;
Thank you for attending today’s Strategy and Defense Policy Course.

It’s wonderful that the United States is hosting an event of this caliber here at the Royal Torarica.
This is another milestone in the growing security cooperation between our two nations.

Often when we think about security cooperation we think of exercises off the coast, or humanitarian missions rebuilding schools together.

But the administrative side of defense activities while less glamorous is often equally important, to security and cooperation.
Smooth operations in the field depend on smooth communications and smooth planning processes at home.
Without this foundation few missions can succeed.

I’m sure that everyone in this room agrees that running government Branches, Bureaus, and Departments is hard work –
it can be tedious, it can be time-consuming, and it can be thankless.

The important work that you do is far from easy, and the responsibilities that you bear are heavy.

You were all chosen to attend this course because of your demonstrated professionalism, because of your desire to create and improve, and most of all because of your willingness to build something better and stronger for Suriname.

You are the lifeblood of your Ministries, Departments, and Offices and we hope you will be able to use the knowledge you gain here this week to address the complex organizational challenges that you all face.

Suriname is coming up to its 50th year of Independence.
It is approaching an important point of decision about its future.
It is a future where the Ministry of Defense and Suriname’s Security forces will continue to play an important role
Both at home and in the region.

You will play a major role.
And to do that well, you need to have a better understanding of civil-military relations as they apply in Suriname;

You will need to conceptualize the Security landscape in which Suriname finds itself.

You will need to reflect on the role of your Ministry of Defense in your democracy.

I believe that the time you are taking for this training will benefit your organization as well as your country.

I challenge you to be creative, shake things up – and transform your visions into concrete policy or reforms.

It is crucial to understand and be able to steer grand strategy – and you will be discussing that.

It is just as important to be able to implement tactically the procedures that will most effectively carry out the overall strategy – and this will also be addressed.

I was fortunate to attend The National Defense University’s National War College in 2004-05, where we engaged with these issues.
As Ambassador, it is an engagement that continues in my work every day.
It is important work, and I am envious of all of you since you will soon launch into that compelling conversation.

Thank you,
to the participants ,
and to the Perry Center
for your commitments to making this training a success.