PARAMARIBO – On Tuesday, August 8th, the United States and Suriname signed a Cooperative Situational Information Integration (CSII) agreement in a formal ceremony. The CSII agreement will allow Suriname to join other CARICOM countries sharing tracking information on maritime transportation throughout the Caribbean through a single web-based platform. This information will enable Suriname to have a clearer image of traffic coming in and going out of Surinamese waters and promote greater security.
U.S. Ambassador Robert J. Faucher and Minister of Defense Krishnakoemarie Mathoera highlighted the significance of the agreement in their remarks. Ambassador Faucher explained: “The end goal is simple: to help enable all the participating states, including Suriname, to respond to illegal activity within their own territories whether those threats originate from within their borders or from outside.”
CSII is an internet-based, unclassified information sharing network between regional partners with the United States Joint InterAgency Task Force South (JIATF-South) as the facilitator. Network members share ship position data between all regional partners, helping them to protect sovereignty, combat illicit trafficking, combat illegal migration, and respond to threats. This information sharing improves countries’ awareness of threats that transcend national borders. The program compliments existing information sharing programs such as CARICOM Intelligence & Information Sharing Network (CISNET).
This program is part of the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI) and the U.S. Southern Command’s (SOUTHCOM’s) mission to cooperate with allies to address common challenges to regional stability and security. Transnational crime erodes good governance, sustains corruption, and undermines basic human rights. CSII is an important tool in combatting transnational criminal networks, among other threats.
With Suriname’s signature all CARICOM countries, except for Haiti have signed the agreement, enabling the countries to share data across the whole region.