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CARICOM leaders to meet in Trinidad next week

Saturday, April 27, 2019

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PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC) — Caribbean Community (CARICOM) leaders will meet in Trinidad and Tobago early next month to discuss security issues within the 15-member regional integration movement.

Antigua, Haiti, Jamaica and Suriname will be not be represented by their leaders.

Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister, Dr Keith Rowley, who is the chairman of Security Council for CARICOM and Law Enforcement (CONSLE), will chair the 19th Special Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community on Security on May 3.

A government statement said that the one-day meeting will focus on recommitted efforts of the various stakeholders for implementing the Regional Security Framework.

“The overall purpose of the Nineteenth Special Meeting on Security is to foster mutual knowledge, analysis, debate and exchange of ideas and experiences on security related matters in attempts to better contribute to the safety and security of member states at the regional level.

“These issues include but are not limited to trans-national crime, terrorism, cybercrime, narco – and gun trafficking, trafficking in persons, intelligence cooperation between member states and the Region's capability to analyse, predict and respond proactively to organized criminal networks.”

The meeting here comes amidst concerns at the rising criminal activities in the region including gun violence and high murder rates.

“Recent events in in the region makes this high-level security meeting even more relevant and comes at a time when crime has become one of the main challenges threatening economies and livelihoods in Caribbean countries,” the statement said, while not naming Venezuela, where the economic and political situation there has led to several Caribbean countries expressing concerns at the illegal movement of criminal gangs and guns.

The statement noted that the CARICOM leaders will also review a rapid response mechanism to include the development of investigative teams to assist member states with intelligence-led operations and legal teams to assist in the strengthening of prosecution capabilities of perpetrators of transnational organized crime.

It said there will also be discussions regarding the standardized vetting of security personnel as part of strengthening of the security mechanisms in member states, considerations for the current status of legal security instruments including the “Protocol Amending the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas to incorporate the CONSLE as an Organ of the Community and IMPACS as an Institution of the Community as well as discussions on advantages of ballistic information networks to be used by the region.

The Caribbean leaders will also discuss recommendations of key studies and fora involving youth in crime.

“Focus will be on operations of gangs and prescriptions for solutions and mainstreaming the participation of youth in the development of the solutions. Recommendations from the CONSLE for best practices on strengthening resiliencies and reducing vulnerabilities will be presented. This will include endorsement of data management protocols for adoption by the region,” the statement said.

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