Caribbean Firearms Roadmap


Saint Lucia Hosts The Third Annual Meeting of States of the Caribbean Firearms Roadmap

Castries, Saint Lucia

Joint Statement - November 15, 2023

Deeply concerned by the deleterious consequences of the illicit proliferation, transfer, diversion and trafficking of firearms, their parts, components; and ammunition; cognizant of the cost of illicitly trafficked firearms, their parts, components; and ammunition to our social, economic and health systems and the negative impact this phenomenon has on peace, security, stability, and sustainable development of the Caribbean.

Taking into account the Declaration by Heads Of Government of the Caribbean Community on Crime and Violence as a Public Health Issue and the Declaration By Heads Of Government on the War On Guns issued at the conclusion of the Regional Symposium on Crime and Violence, in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, on 18 April 2023, which acknowledged that firearms contribute significantly to crime and violence in our Region causing death, disabilities, compromising the safety of our citizens.

Identifying the critical interlinkages between drug trafficking, money laundering, human trafficking, illegal firearms sourcing and use and other forms of transnational organized crime. We, the representatives of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Dominican Republic, meeting in Saint Lucia on 14 and 15 November 2023 for the 3rd Annual Meeting of States on the Caribbean Firearms Roadmap for Implementing the Caribbean Priority Actions on the Illicit Proliferation of Firearms and Ammunition across the Caribbean in a Sustainable Manner by 2030.

1. Reaffirm our unwavering commitment to addressing the issue as a matter of urgency and remain firmly committed to our efforts to further promote the full and effective implementation of the commitments set out in the Caribbean Firearms Roadmap by 2030, and most specifically to the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Target 16.4, which aims to significantly reduce illicit arms flows by 2030.

2. Welcome the exchange of views and information and the sharing of best practices among the participating States and note the significant progress and important achievements made to date, three years after the adoption of the Roadmap. We continue to highlight the important contribution the Caribbean Firearms Roadmap plays to a whole-of-government approach to address the problem at the political, policy and operational levels.

3. Recognize that important work has been done and continues to be done under the Roadmap, which serves to fulfill the Heads of Government endorsed Caribbean Priority Actions on the Illicit Trafficking of Firearms, the CARICOM Crime and Security Strategy, the CARICOM Declaration on Small Arms and Light weapons, as well as the accomplishment of our regional and global commitments, including the Inter-American Convention Against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives, and Other Related Materials; the Programme of Action on Small Arms and Light Weapons and its International Tracing Instrument the Arms Trade Treaty; the Firearms Protocol and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

4. Underscore that Governments bear the primary responsibility for the implementation of the Roadmap and have taken note that further progress is needed to overcome existing gaps in the Roadmap´s implementation. With this in mind, we undertake to establish and formalize National Action Plans for the implementation of the Roadmap where they do not exist, and to implement these National Action Plans through national and regional initiatives to advance all four Goals of the Roadmap, namely to (1) reinforce regulatory frameworks governing firearms and ammunition; (2) reduce the illicit flow of firearms and ammunition into, within and beyond the region; (3) bolster law enforcement capacity to combat illicit firearms and ammunition trafficking and their illicit possession and misuse; and (4) systematically decrease the risk of diversion of 2 firearms and ammunition from government- and non-government-owned arsenals. We further commit to adopt complementary actions in support of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Actions.

5. Acknowledge the importance of evidenced-based decision-making to reduce the illicit proliferation, transfer, diversion and trafficking of firearms, their parts, components, and ammunition.

6. Recognize the value of the introduction of the Roadmap’s Monitoring and Evaluation framework to fully grasp the progress made by States towards the fulfillment of the Goals of the Roadmap, as well as to strengthen the measurability of the implementation of the Roadmap at the national and regional levels.

7. Underscore the need for comprehensive data collection and reporting under the Roadmap.

8. Commit ourselves to redouble efforts to reduce information gaps and regularly report information on the implementation of our National Action Plans, as well as other initiatives in support of the Roadmap, through the established online reporting platform.

9. Acknowledge that Monitoring and Evaluation framework helps improve performance and achieve results, and propose a technical mid-term review on the implementation of the Roadmap in 2025, at the half-way mark of its duration, to be carried out by the Caribbean Community Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (CARICOM IMPACS) and the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC), the custodians of the Roadmap. Recommendations resulting from such a review should be presented to States at the Annual Meeting for their consideration.

10. Note the efforts by the co-custodians of the Roadmap, CARICOM IMPACS and UNLIREC, and also note the efforts of various implementing partners, including the International Criminal Police Organisation (INTERPOL), the Organisation of American States (OAS), the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), and the World Customs Organisation (WCO), the Small Arms Survey (SAS), Mines Advisory Group (MAG), as well as civil society organisations, academia and research institutions, who have assisted in bolstering national and regional efforts to achieve a safer Caribbean.

11. Continue to call on the wider international community – donors, partners, and other stakeholders - to continue their collaboration, cooperation and coordination with States across the Caribbean region and, where feasible, to further strengthen their financial, technical, and political support to the Roadmap.

12. Pledge to continue our work across the region to increase the operationalization of the Roadmap and its Goals through the adoption of sustainable solutions which prevent and combat the illicit proliferation of firearms and ammunition with a view to strengthening the security of our region and our communities.

13. Call on manufacturing and exporting states to establish more effective controls to combat the illicit trafficking of weapons towards the countries of the Caribbean region, given the impact on the regional stability.