A just-ended regional meeting in Saint Lucia has called on countries that manufacture and export firearms to establish more effective controls to combat illicit gun and ammunition trafficking targeting Caribbean countries.
The call came in a joint statement after the 3rd Annual Meeting of States on the Caribbean Firearms Roadmap.
The statement noted the impact of the illicit gun and ammunition trade on the Caribbean’s social, economic, and health systems and the Region’s peace and sustainable development.
Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Heads of Government meeting in April this year acknowledged that firearms contribute significantly to crime and violence in regional states.
At that meeting, the leaders declared ‘War on Guns’.
They also lamented the disproportionate share of their national budgets that went into measures to address crime, violence, and national security.
The Saint Lucia Firearms Roadmap meeting statement noted the critical interlinkages between drug trafficking, money laundering, human trafficking, illegal firearms sourcing and use, and other forms of transnational organised crime.
The document also reaffirmed the participants’ unwavering commitment to urgently addressing the illegal gun and ammunition trafficking issue.
In addition, the attendees remained firmly committed to implementing commitments in the Caribbean Firearms Roadmap by 2030.
The commitments specifically included the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Target 16.4, which aims to reduce illicit arms flows by 2030.
From 14 to 15 November 2023, CARICOM and Dominican Republic officials met in Saint Lucia for the 3rd Annual Meeting of States of the Caribbean Firearms Roadmap.
In 2020, all fifteen CARICOM States and the Dominican Republic adopted the Roadmap.
It identified priority actions to address the proliferation of illicit firearms and Ammunition across the Caribbean.