On 26 October 2020, 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 Trinidad and Tobago, and the Government of Germany, hosted a virtual Executive Seminar for the Advancement of Trinidad and Tobago’s National Action Plan for the implementation of the Caribbean Firearms Roadmap.
Trinidad and Tobago adopted 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) in July 2020. 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.
Following adoption, Trinidad and Tobago became the first State to commence concrete actions contemplated in the Caribbean Firearms Roadmap by taking steps to create its National Action Plan (NAP). Forty representatives of the Ministry of National Security, Ministry of Foreign and CARICOM Affairs, Defence Force, Police Service, Forensic Science Centre, Customs and Excise Division, Judiciary, Public Prosecutions Department and Gender and Child Affairs Division, along with members of the German Federal Foreign Ministry, UNLIREC and CARICOM IMPACS participated in the NAP Executive Seminar. Participants discussed the Roadmap and steps needed to map out Trinidad and Tobago’s 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 Trinidad and Tobago in the elaboration of its National Action Plan (NAP). It includes four main 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 incorporates pre-defined actions and targets, recommended performance indicators, all in alignment with a timeline, which runs from 2020 to 2030, to coincide with the culmination of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
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.