On 12 February 2021, the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC) and the Caribbean Community’s Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (CARICOM IMPACS), in collaboration with the Government of Barbados, and the Government of Germany, hosted a virtual Executive Seminar for the Advancement of National Action Plan of Barbados for the implementation of the Caribbean Firearms Roadmap.

The ‘Roadmap for Implementing The Caribbean Priority Actions on the Illicit Proliferation of Firearms and Ammunition across the Caribbean in a Sustainable Manner by 2030’ (Caribbean Firearms Roadmap) was officially adopted by CARICOM on January 22, 2021. The Roadmap consolidates and builds upon the 2019 actions adopted by Caribbean Heads of Governments on addressing the illicit trafficking of firearms in the region.

Barbados became the seventh CARICOM State to have initiated concrete actions contemplated in the Caribbean Firearms Roadmap by taking steps to create its National Action Plan (NAP). A total of twenty-four (24) representatives of the Ministry of People Empowerment and Elder Affairs, Office of the Attorney General, Royal Barbados Police Force, Barbados Defence Force, along with members of the German Embassy, UNLIREC and CARICOM IMPACS participated in the NAP Executive Seminar. Participants discussed the Roadmap and steps needed to map out priorities, plans and timelines for implementing the Caribbean Firearms Roadmap. The successful implementation of the Roadmap will require both the concerted efforts of national authorities, as well as the timely, targeted and coordinated support of regional and international partners and donors.

The Roadmap serves as a base document for Barbados in the elaboration of its National Action Plan (NAP). It categorizes the abovementioned priority actions under four overall goals: (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 firearms and ammunition from government and non-government owned arsenals. Each goal in turn includes targets and actions, key performance indicators, all in an alignment with a 10-year timeline coinciding with the culmination of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.

UNLIREC and CARICOM IMPACS, as the main implementing partners, will lend technical assistance in the elaboration of the NAPs and in their successive implementation. The governments of Canada, Germany, United States of America and the United Kingdom have pledged support to the implementation of the Caribbean Firearms Roadmap.

UNLIREC, as the regional organ of the UN Office for Disarmament, seeks to advance the cause of practical disarmament in Latin America and the Caribbean as part of its commitment to support Member States in their implementation of international disarmament and non-proliferation instruments, in particular, the 2001 UN Programme of Action on Small Arms.