Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre expressed concern over the global illicit small arms and light weapons trade during an address to the United Nations on Friday.
Pierre, responsible for National Security, observed that the trade attracted billions of dollars in 2022.
He explained that the illicit trade not only fueled lesser conflicts worldwide, but illegal arms facilitated criminal activities in Saint Lucia and other Caribbean Community (CARICOM) member states.
“Illegal firearms were responsible for seventy percent of the homicides in the Caribbean Community in 2022,” the Saint Lucia Prime Minister told the General Debate of the 78th Session of the United Nations General Assembly.
However, he noted that neither Saint Lucia nor other CARICOM member states manufacture small arms, light weapons, and ammunition.
Pierre observed that continental neighbours to the North and South of the Caribbean were the sources.
He voiced Saint Lucia’s continued support for international instruments to prevent and curb illicit small arms and light weapons trafficking.
The Saint Lucia Prime Minister also welcomed the United States announcement that Washington would provide technical assistance to combat illegal weapons smuggling into the Caribbean and solve gun-related cases.