Basseterre, Saint Kitts – Nevis
April 08,2008 (CUOPM)
Caribbean leaders have agreed on a number of measures to combat rising crime in the region.
St. Kits and Nevis Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas and other Caribbean leaders during the 13th Special Meeting in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, on 4-5 April 2008 ventilated the crime and security issues facing the Region and to agreed on a Strategy and Plan of Action to stem the rising tide of violent criminality.
Heads of Government received proposals from the Extra-ordinary Joint Meeting of the Standing Committees of Commissioners of Police and of Military Chiefs; the Security Policy and Advisory Committee (SEPAC); and the Council of Ministers with Responsibility for National Security and Laws Enforcement (CONSLE).
It was agreed that, building on the legacy of the success of the Security Co-operation arrangements put in place for the Cricket World Cup 2007, some of the elements would be upgraded and expanded on a permanent basis.
These include the Advanced Passenger Information System, the Regional Intelligence Fusion Centre and the Joint Regional Communications Centre.
In addition, they agreed that an Advanced Cargo Information System would be put in place. Discussions would continue with respect to the CARICOM Visa, the CARICOM Travel Card and the Single Domestic Space.
Heads of Government also agreed to put into operation the Action Plan submitted by the Commissioners of Police and Military Chiefs and supported by the SEPAC and CONSLE. The Plan called for short, medium and long term measures to curb the high levels of crime in the Community.
These include a strategy to combat the proliferation of small arms and light weapons along with the establishment of a Regional Integrated Ballistics Information Network (RIBIN) and a Regional Investigative Management System (RIMS).
Heads of Government also agreed to sign the CARICOM Maritime and Air Space Security Co-operation Agreement and the CARICOM Arrest Warrant Treaty by July 2008.
The discussions at the Informal Session centered around the views and perspectives of the Heads of Government with respect to the future of the Community as well as the strengthening of the Governance arrangements of the Community.
The Heads reiterated their strong commitment to the integration process and the completion of the arrangements for the CARICOM Single Market and Economy. They also agreed that in order to achieve the goal of a Community for All, ways must be found for the greater inclusion of the Associate Members of the Community.
Caribbean leaders also mandated that an appraisal of the implementation of the CARICOM Single Market arrangements in each Member State be conducted with a view to improving its operations and expressed sincere thanks and appreciation to the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago for providing the environment which ensured a fruitful and productive discussion.