Joint Statement: Third Caribbean-United States Security Cooperation Dialogue

Joint Statement
Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs
Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago
December 5, 2012

We, the Governments of Antigua and Barbuda; the Commonwealth of the Bahamas; Barbados; the Commonwealth of Dominica; the Dominican Republic; Grenada; the Co-operative Republic of Guyana; the Republic of Haiti; Jamaica; the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis; Saint Lucia; Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; the Republic of Suriname; the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago; and the United States of America (US);

REAFFIRMING our commitment to the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI) Partnership launched on 27 May, 2010, at the Inaugural Caribbean-US Security Cooperation Dialogue in Washington, D.C.;

REAFFIRMING also our keen interest in advancing our commitments stated in the Caribbean-United States Declaration of Principles; the Caribbean-United States Plan of Action on Security Cooperation; the Joint Caribbean-United States Framework for Security Cooperation Engagement and the Joint Statement of the Second Caribbean-US Security Cooperation Dialogue held in the Bahamas in 2011;

RECOMMITTING to the priorities of substantially reducing illicit trafficking, advancing public safety and security and further promoting social justice as outlined in the Caribbean-United States Declaration of Principles;

RECOGNIZING the work done by the Commission and the Technical Working Groups over the past year as outlined in the Joint Implementation Report;

COMMENDING the leadership shown by Caribbean states in formulating and implementing policies to promote security, and encouraging continuation of efforts through regional integration mechanisms and national contributions of adequate financing based on timely fiscal and budgetary policy decisions;

UNDERSCORING the value of international partner support and the need to maximize the effectiveness and sustainability of that support in order to reduce duplication of efforts and generate a more effective impact in advancing common security objectives in the Caribbean;

WELCOMING new international partners and expressing appreciation to the Government of Canada’s initiative to organize donors and implementers in the security partnership framework in the Caribbean;

ACKNOWLEDGING the requirement for enhanced regional cooperation and sustainability of our efforts over the long-term to effectively address security in the Caribbean;

DECLARE our intent to strengthen our cooperation in the period 2012-2013 in the following ways:

  1. Strengthening our institutions and partnerships by:
  • Recognising the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS) as the primary entity for the coordination of all regional security programs and projects among the CARICOM States and with the Dominican Republic;
  • Providing resources to CARICOM IMPACS;
  • Recognising the institutions and mechanisms of the Dominican Republic focused on enhancing security and implementation with CARICOM States and IMPACS;
  • Requesting that international partners coordinate with IMPACS to provide effective political, technical and financial support;
  • Implementing a mechanism for the dissemination of information on CBSI and regional efforts to enhance security in the Caribbean through a virtual site for official use and a website for public use;
  • Ensuring the monitoring and evaluation of program implementation for effective results;
  • Identifying national focal points for the internal dissemination and coordination of information with respect to the CBSI within and among countries and with the CBSI Secretariat;
  • Ensuring full representation of Member States at CBSI meetings, including Technical Working Group meetings;
  • Inviting other nations, regional and international organizations and private sector institutions to partner with us, as appropriate, in advancing security throughout the Caribbean;
  • Addressing corruption in the public sector so as to build public trust and confidence in national institutions.
  1. Substantially reducing illicit trafficking by:
  • Developing a common maritime and airspace strategy, as well as standard operating procedures or other measures including, as appropriate, those provided in the CARICOM Maritime and Airspace Security Cooperation Agreement, and the Caribbean Regional Maritime Agreement[1] that allow for the coordination of maritime interdiction efforts between and among Caribbean countries, to include regional security institutions such as the Regional Security System (RSS) and the security institutions of the Dominican Republic;
  • Continuing progress on a counter illict trafficking strategy for the Caribbean;
  • Adopting the programs, initiatives, guidelines and Action Plan of the Hemispheric Drug Strategy of the Inter American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC);
  • Enhancing mechanisms for training and counter narcotics coordination and operations among our nations, in particular, by supporting the Technical Assistance Field Team Program (TAFT);
  • Considering all necessary agreements and arrangements to facilitate the operation of the Cooperative Sensor and Information Integration (CSII) Programme;
  • Developing a common action plan among the Caribbean States and international partners to comprehensively address firearms trafficking;
  • Establishing dedicated units for firearms trafficking, where appropriate, to ensure a focus on identifying illegal sources and methods;
  • Fully investigating the origin of all seized firearms through tracing and ballistics analysis;
  • Implementing regionally, programmes to counter the illicit trafficking in firearms, in particular, the Regional Integrated Ballistic Information Network;
  • Establishing national firearms commissions that work effectively, regionally and with international partners;
  • Considering policy and legislative reforms, as appropriate, and in accordance with national laws, to implement information sharing mechanisms on a region-wide basis, including the sharing of –
    • radar and sensor data for the purpose of detecting, monitoring and interdicting illicit activities in the Caribbean
    • ballistic forensic data,
    • biometric data.
  1. Advancing Public Safety and Security by:
  • Enacting judicial reforms and continuing to build judicial capacity to ensure that criminals are brought to justice;
  • Fully implementing the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) to facilitate the exchange of data among all Caribbean countries, subject to domestic laws;
  • Developing regional polygraph capabilities across the region;
  • Developing a sustainable and complementary sub-regional and regional defence, maritime and security training capacity in the Caribbean that utilizes existing national and regional training facilities and facilitates harmonization of security measures;
  • Enacting and streamlining legislative authorities in the Caribbean that allow for the seizure of assets used in illicit activity and, in turn, making these assets available for law enforcement and crime prevention initiatives;
  • Developing national cybersecurity strategies and enacting, where applicable, cybercrime legislation.
  1. Further Promoting Social Justice by:
  • Instituting Youth Workforce Development programmes in Caribbean nations to focus on life skills training, technical and vocational training based on market needs, and private sector assistance with internships and job placements;
  • Increasing economic and skills development opportunites for youth and other vulnerable populations;
  • Continuing to pursue policy reforms at the national and regional levels to expand productive opportunities for youth in areas such as education, employment, entrepreneurship, volunteerism sports and culture;
  • Supporting improvements in basic education, including the monitoring of school management and performance, developing public/private partnerships and improving literacy and numeracy for primary school students and young adults;
  • Cooperating with regional and international organizations, non-governmental organizations, private sector, community service agencies, religious instititutions and the media in the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of effective crime prevention programs;
  • Establishing a regional repository of best practices in the areas of crime prevention and social justice to facilitate networking, policy development and program development;
  • Developing a regional juvenile justice policy and harmonised legislation that promotes community intervention and alternatives to sentencing and incarceration, including modernization of diversion, detention, and rehabilitation processes;
  • Establishing and strengthening drug prevention programs for the reduction in the supply and demand of illicit drugs to youth and vulnerable populations.

WE THANK the Government and people of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago for their hospitality and efforts in hosting the Third High Level Dialogue of the CBSI.

WE LOOK FORWARD to the Fourth High Level Security Cooperation Dialogue to be held in December in 2013.

WE STRESS our commitment to maintain regular dialogue to meet the common challenges we face in advancing the security and prosperity of our people.

[1] Agreement Concerning Cooperation in Suppressing Illicit Maritime and Air Trafficking in Narcotics and Psychotropic Substances in the Caribbean Area (“Caribbean Regional Maritime Agreement”), opened for signature at San Jose, 10 April 2003, and entered into force on 18 September 2008.