The multi-million dollar Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM) Crime and Security Program was launched in Barbados on Wednesday amidst concerns that Caribbean countries with relatively small populations are facing security challenges, and the need for the region to adopt a multi-disciplined, multi-national approach to crime and security.
Head of the European Union Delegation to Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean States, and CARICOM/CARIFORUM, Daniela Tramacere, said because of these challenges regional integration and collective security mechanism have really become imperative.
In favor of regionalization
“Given the scarcity of resources required to address such a multiplicity of security issues, we the European Union share this philosophy…in favor of regionalization, we see actually regionalism as a stepping stone to a more effective way to global multilateralism.
“We believe in the value of contributing our best resources and capabilities to alliances and partnerships and to enable others with fewer resources to assume responsibilities in their own region,” she said, noting both regions share a commitment to global peace, progress, prosperity and democracy, human rights and the rule of law.
Warn against quick fixes
But she warned against “quick fixes” to deal with the crime and security situation. She urged the development of strong professional institutions that approach security challenges from an objective space, multidimensional and multi-stakeholder perspective.
In his address to the launch, CARICOM Secretary General Irwin LaRocque said the initiative is an “important and timely program” and was yet another manifestation of the relationship between Europe and the Caribbean to attain sustainable development.
He described the crime situation as an issue that requires all member states to be involved in a regional program and strategy. He made reference to efforts by CARICOM leaders to put in place various strategies to curb criminal activities in the region.
LaRocque noted initiatives such as the CARICOM Arrest Warrant Treaty, and plans for a counter-terrorism strategy as he noted that the regional countries were being “ravaged by this scourge” of crime including drug trafficking.
LaRocque said the program launched on Wednesday focuses on reducing the demand for and dependence on illicit drugs on the one hand, and on crime prevention on the other. “The program presents a diverse mix of interventions to buttress the challenges we are facing,” he said, noting however that whatever projects and program are put forward, the core of this battle must be fought in the home.