Saint Lucia Hosts The Third Annual Meeting of States of the Caribbean Firearms Roadmap
Castries, Saint Lucia
November 14-15, 2023
From November 14-15, 2023, United States officials, participated in the third annual meeting of states under the auspices of the Caribbean Firearms Roadmap. The meeting brought together officials from the nations of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Dominican Republic. In the meeting, states addressed sustainable Caribbean priority actions on the illicit proliferation of firearms and ammunition across the Caribbean by 2030. Saint Lucia hosted the meeting in coordination with the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Implementation Agency for Crime and Security and the UN Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean. The Roadmap supports regional implementation of the 30 Priority Actions on Addressing Illicit Trafficking of Firearms developed under the auspices of the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI) in January 2019. CARICOM Heads of Government subsequently adopted the Roadmap in May 2019. The Roadmap and Priority Actions seek to address illicit proliferation of firearms and ammunition in the region through regional and national-level efforts at strategic, policy, and operational levels. The United States delegation
also included representatives from the Department of State; Department of Justice, including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; and the Department of Homeland Security, including Customs and Border Protection and Homeland Security Investigations.
The trafficking and misuse of illicit firearms and ammunition continue to result in high homicide and crime rates in many Caribbean States, negatively impacting human and public security. They also greatly affect socioeconomic development across the region, including the public health implications of gun deaths and injuries and the impact of crime on business development and investment.
To address those challenges, in 2020, all 15 CARICOM States and the Dominican Republic adopted the Caribbean Firearms Roadmap, formally known as ‘Roadmap for Implementing The Caribbean Priority Actions on the Illicit Proliferation of Firearms and Ammunition across the Caribbean in a Sustainable Manner by 2030’, with the vision of creating a safer Caribbean region. Since then, the Roadmap has served as a guiding document to achieve the commonly agreed goals and actions, which include strengthening regulatory frameworks on firearms and ammunition; reducing the illicit flow of firearms into, within and beyond the region, and strengthening law enforcement capacity to combat illicit firearms trafficking. To achieve these goals, States are developing National Action Plans (NAPs), which set out States’ national priorities and timelines.
The first day of the meeting on November 14, 2023 was dedicated to the Roadmap’s operational aspects, including the importance of evidence-based policy-making based on data collection efforts and a robust monitoring and evaluation framework. Participants also shared best practices and lessons learned from national flagship initiatives to address armed violence across the region. Various other stakeholders, including the co-custodians of the Roadmap, CARICOM IMPACS and UNLIREC, as well as implementing partners such as the Organization of American States (OAS), International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the Small Arms Survey (SAS) and the World Customs Organization (WCO) will also made interventions.
Ministers and officials from CARICOM States, the Dominican Republic and the international community gathered in a high-level plenary on day two of the Conference, with a view to taking stock of the significant progress and important achievements made under the Roadmap to date, while examining ways to achieve further progress to overcome existing implementing gaps in order to further strengthen the security of the Caribbean region and its communities. Expected to participate is Izumi Nakamitsu, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, as well as Ministers from several CARICOM States. The meeting concluded with the adoption of a Joint Statement.