9 November 2021 – The United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC) and the CARICOM Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS) hosted the 1st Annual Meeting of States to discuss the progress made in the implementation of the Caribbean Firearms Roadmap, including the elaboration of National Action Plans (NAPs) for Roadmap implementation. Over 90 representatives from beneficiary Caribbean States, partners and the donor community participated in this online international event to take stock of the progress made to date.

The Roadmap aims to accelerate and bolster States’ efforts to prevent and combat the illicit proliferation of small arms and light weapons among the 15 CARICOM States and the Dominican Republic. The Roadmap serves as a guiding document for commonly agreed levels of performance at the strategic, policy and operational levels. It was developed in 2019 under the auspices of the Federal Republic of Germany and the United States of America and formally adopted one year ago in October 2020.

The Roadmap takes into consideration the provisions found in the UN Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All its Aspects (UN 2001 PoA), as well as the legal obligations stemming from the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) and the Protocol against the Illicit Manufacturing of and trafficking in Firearms, their Parts and Components and Ammunition (The Firearm Protocol). Its effective implementation will also contribute to the implementation of Agenda 2030 and Sustainable Development Goal 16, with a specific focus on Target 16.4 aimed at significantly reducing arms flow.

To date, three Caribbean States have formally adopted their NAPs, namely Grenada, Belize and Antigua and Barbuda. These Plans outline States priorities in combating the illicit trafficking in firearms and ammunition and help to track progress by serving as a monitoring and tracking tool. Remaining States are also well on their way to progressing towards formal adoption of these Action Plans and thus contributing to enhanced firearms control in the region. Close to USD$ 4 million have been invested in the region over the past two years leading to 70 activities in the implementation of the 4 Roadmap Goals.

As a lead-up to this Meeting, UNLIREC and CARICOM IMPACS – as the co-custodians and main implementing partners of the Roadmap – hosted two prior meetings in October. The first was targeted at the other implementing partners, including the UN Development Programme, UN Office on Drugs and Crime, World Customs Organization, Organization of American States, INTERPOL, and Small Arms Survey, to inform and collaborate on upcoming partner activities in support of the Roadmap. While the second was aimed at the donor community, including Germany, Canada, United States of America, European Union, and United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, that provides essential financial support to partners in favour of beneficiary States.

For more information on the Caribbean Firearms Roadmap and the progress made to date, please contact UNLIREC’s Political Affairs Officer, Amanda Cowl, at cowl@unlirec.org.