UNLIREC and CARICOM IMPACS hold virtual encounter with Caribbean States on adoption of Caribbean Firearms Roadmap

The Permanent Secretaries of National Security from CARICOM Member States and the Dominican Republic recommended that the newly developed Caribbean Firearms Roadmap be adopted at the ministerial level as a next and final step prior to its implementation. This recommendation was made during a virtual regional encounter, hosted by the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC), in collaboration with the Caribbean Community’s Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (CARICOM IMPACS), on 17 June 2020. The German Ministry of Foreign Affairs – through its Conventional Arms Branch – and the United State Department of State – through the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI) – attended the virtual encounter to pledge their support for the implementation of this new initiative. They were joined by other members of the donor community, including Canada, France, The Netherlands and the European Union, all of which welcomed the Roadmap. The CARICOM Secretariat, the Regional Security System, OAS, WCO, Interpol, UNODC and the South Eastern and Eastern Europe Clearinghouse for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SEESAC) were also in attendance.

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’ consolidates and builds upon the Actions adopted in May 2019 by Caribbean Heads of Governments on addressing the illicit trafficking of firearms in the region. These Actions form the backbone of the Roadmap, arrived at by consensus in 2020 by national Caribbean authorities and other stakeholders, which aims to support Caribbean States in preventing and combating illicit proliferation of firearms and ammunition in the region for a safer Caribbean.

The regional strategy behind the Roadmap is reflected in 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 in alignment with a timeline, which runs from 2020 to 2030, to coincide with the culmination of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Finally, to help States gauge their progress in attaining each of these goals, the Roadmap contains recommended performance indicators.

The successful implementation of the Roadmap will require both the concerted efforts of Caribbean State authorities, as well as the timely, targeted and coordinated support of regional and international partners and donors. Likewise, the Roadmap will be used as a base document for States in the elaboration of their individual State-based National Action Plans (NAPs). These NAPS will map out their national priorities and plans and specific timelines for implementing the Caribbean Firearms Roadmap.

Finally, the Roadmap is consistent with the Caribbean context and international firearms instruments, as well as with regional strategies, such as the CARICOM Crime and Security Strategy. It is also envisioned to contribute to the attainment of the 2030 Agenda and to its accompanying Sustainable Development Goals, in particular Target 16.4, which aims to significantly reduce illicit financial and arms flow by 2030.

Formal adoption of the Roadmap is expected to take place prior to the end of July 2020. UNLIREC and CARICOM IMPACS, as the main implementing partners, will lend technical assistance in the elaboration of the NAPs and in their successive implementation.

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