On 20 January 2022, the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC) hosted the regional webinar on ‘Building a Crime Gun Preventive Strategy in the Caribbean’. The objective of the webinar was to discuss the key components of implementing a successful crime gun preventive strategy in the Caribbean.

Six CARICOM states, Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Guyana, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and The Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago were invited for the webinar. Over 45 officials (21 women) from ministries of Foreign Affairs, National Security/ Home Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Police Forces, Defence Forces, Forensic Laboratories, Intelligence Agencies and Customs of the 6 CARICOM States actively participated in the regional webinar.

The objective of this webinar was to discuss eight critical components of a successful crime gun preventive strategy. These included: stakeholder buy-in, regional approaches, ballistic imaging, overlaying technologies, knowing offenders and how they interact, using a single intelligence unit, public buy-in and, in the future, expanding a preventative strategy. UNLIREC highlighted that although no two strategies would be the same, and that innovation and ballistic imaging, are both fundamental to any effective crime gun preventive strategy. Furthermore, the importance of a collaborative effort between law enforcement agencies, customs agencies, forensic science laboratories and prosecuting offices was key.

This regional webinar, carried out in line with the 2001 UN Porgramme of Action on Small Arms and Sustainable Development Goal 16.4, contributes towards the implementation of Goal 3, ‘Bolster law enforcement capacity to combat illicit firearms and ammunition trafficking and their illicit possession and misuse’ of the Caribbean Firearms Roadmap, to regional efforts prevent illicit trafficking of firearms and ammunition, and ultimately reducing firearms-related crimes and armed violence in the Caribbean.

This webinar was generously sponsored by the Government of Canada. It forms part of a series of three regional webinars under the Canada-funded project ‘Support 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.