Joint Statement by UNLIREC and CARICOM IMPACS during the Ninth CBSI High-level Dialogue 28 October 2020
Delivered by Ms. Melanie Regimbal, Director, UNLIREC
CBSI High level Dialogue 2020

I deliver this statement on behalf of the CARICOM Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS) and the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC).

The proliferation of Illicit firearms and ammunitions continues to contribute to violence in CARICOM. Illicit firearms are fuelling armed violence, organised crime, gang crimes and gender-based violence, while thwarting sustainable development efforts.

One year after the CARICOM Conference of Heads of Government adopted the ‘Caribbean Priority Actions on Addressing Illicit Trafficking of Firearms (Priority Actions)’ in February 2019, which was developed within the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI) Framework, Caribbean States with the assistance of UNLIREC and CARICOM IMPACS have consolidated these political commitments of the Priority Actions and developed ‘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)’ to guide the implementation of the Caribbean Priority Actions. We would like to thank the Governments of Germany and the United States of America for their assistance in the development of the Roadmap. We also appreciate their continued support towards the furtherance of the CBSI Firearms Technical Working Group (TWG) ‘Priority Actions’ and the development of countries ‘National Action Plans (NAPs)’. This is truly an example of cross border cooperation and collaboration.

Since the official communication for approval of the Roadmap, via round robin, was sent to Caribbean States in June 2020, I am pleased to announce that as of yesterday, CARICOM IMPACS advise that we have eight (8) CARICOM States which have approved the Roadmap. We respectfully urge other States to approve the Roadmap and its activities thereby ensuring that the Caribbean Priority Actions which were endorsed by the CARICOM Heads of Government in February 2019 are implemented. We note that national ownership is key to the success of the Roadmap.

CARICOM IMPACS and UNLIREC attach great importance to the implementation of the Roadmap, and recognise the importance of working together, both bilaterally and through multilateral efforts to create a coordinated and consistent regional approach aimed at maximising benefits for all Member States based on key principles and commitments, including respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, transparency and host nation consent.

In order to successfully implement the Roadmap, we will actively work in concert with the other international partners, including but not limited to the Governments of Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States of America and the European Union; various international organisations, such as the International Criminal Police Organisation (INTERPOL), Organisation of American States (OAS), UN Development Programme (UNDP), UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), and the World Customs Organisation (WCO), as well as civil society organisations (CSOs), academia and research institutions with the aim of bolstering national and regional efforts to achieve a safer Caribbean.

The implementation of the Roadmap will contribute to the attainment of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (Agenda 2030), and most specifically to the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Target 16.4, which aims to significantly reduce illicit financial and arms flow by 2030.

We welcome the contribution and support of international organizations, donors, civil society and research institutions to assist national authorities to implement the Caribbean Priority Actions through the operational Roadmap presented here.

Thank You