Caribbean-United States Security Cooperation Dialogue

The text of the following joint statement was issued by the governments of the Caribbean states and the United States on the Tenth Anniversary of the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative, following the Caribbean-United States Security Cooperation Dialogue in Washington, DC on May 16, 2019. 

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We, the Governments of the Caribbean States and the United States of America have gathered in Washington, DC, on the Tenth (10th) Anniversary of the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI), to:

REAFFIRM the CBSI Partnership launched on April 17, 2009 at the Fifth Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago;

BEAR in mind our common commitments stated in the Caribbean-United States Declaration of Principles;the Caribbean-United States Plan of Action on Security Cooperation; and the Caribbean-United States Framework for Security Cooperation;

ACKNOWLEDGE the efforts of the United States of America, Caribbean States, and international partners of a range of training activities, operational exercises, programs, and projects which have enabled Caribbean States to address crime and violence in the Region;

RENEW our commitment to our vital partnership; evaluate progress to date; and reconfirm our commitment to agreed priorities;

AGREE to the enhanced CBSI objectives of reducing illicit trafficking, increasing safety and security, and preventing youth crime and violence;

DEEPEN the coordination, cooperation and sustainability of our joint efforts among the United States of America, Caribbean States, and international partners to more effectively address the security challenges in the Caribbean and ensure the monitoring and evaluation of program implementation for effective results;

REAFFIRM the commitments and outcomes of the Ministerial on the U.S. Caribbean Resilience Partnership held in Miami on April 12, 2019 and the continued cooperation on disaster preparedness and resilience.

Set out to continue to advance the following critical efforts aimed at increasing the security and safety of our citizens:

To Reduce illicit Trafficking

We commit to increasing regional cooperation and building capacity to address all forms of trafficking, dismantle transnational criminal organizations, and define a common operational approach to counter shared threats and promote information sharing.

To this end, we intend to:

  • Confront emerging threats and challenges to the security of our citizens, including collaborating and integrating sustainable initiatives to combat transnational organized crime in all its forms and terrorism.
  • Systematically adopt the recommendations for Caribbean priority actions on addressing illicit trafficking of firearms recommended by our national firearms authorities at the Technical Working Group on Combating Illicit Trafficking of Small Arms and Light Weapons in the Caribbean.
  • Systematically adopt the recommendations for Caribbean priority actions on strengthening regional maritime law enforcement cooperation and coordination recommended by our national maritime authorities at the Technical Working Group on Strategic Maritime Operations held in the Caribbean.
  • Pursue sustainable and complementary regional maritime operational capacity in the Caribbean that utilizes existing national and regional training facilities and facilitates synchronization of security measures.
  • Pursue the creation of a regional strategy that synchronizes and links regional intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) practices. This effort should incorporate methods to improve regional information/intelligence sharing.
  • Continue development of a regional threat matrix and implementation of a common operating picture for the Caribbean.
  • Implement the regional program to counter illicit trafficking in firearms through the use of the Regional Integrated Ballistic Information Network (RIBIN) by all Caribbean states and the sharing of firearms case information through this network.
  • Continue to expand the Advance Cargo Information System (ACIS); and fully implement the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) and sustain the operations of the Advanced Passenger Information System (APIS); to facilitate the exchange of data among all Caribbean States, subject to national laws. We intend to enact policy and legislative reforms, as appropriate, and in accordance with national laws, to implement the ACIS, APIS and AFIS on a region-wide basis.
  • Convene a Technical Working Group on Maritime Strategy and Operations.
  • Convene a Technical Working Group meeting to combat transnational organized crime and terrorism to include confronting money laundering, financial crime, and the criminal misuse of technology and to apply asset forfeiture as a law enforcement instrument.

To Increase Safety and Security

We commit to advancing the safety and security of our citizens through partnerships with Governments and Civil Society to prevent, investigate and prosecute transnational criminal organizations and terrorism; to increase border security; to prevent and prosecute corruption, to increase government effectiveness, and to build regional crime monitoring institutions to ensure crime prevention programmes are well targeted.

To this end, we intend to:

  • Collaborate and share best practices and information on governance and rule of law.
  • Collaborate and share best practices and information on cybersecurity, telecommunications security, international security in cyberspace, and combatting cybercrime.
  • Collaborate and share best practices and information on counterterrorism issues and the countering of violent extremism.
  • Reassure and demonstrate to our citizens the actions governments are taking to combat and prevent crime.
  • Request that CARICOM IMPACS convene a meeting of national firearms authorities to consider next steps to address illicit trafficking of arms.
  • Leverage and use Caribbean experts to build law enforcement capacities of Caribbean partners in key areas, particularly police professionalization, maritime asset maintenance and sustainment, and forensic accounting.
  • Strengthen mutual legal assistance across countries and build investigative cooperation across institutions.
  • Strengthen public safety and security institutions by continuing to enact legislation and policies that allow for the seizure of assets acquired through illicit activity and, in turn, making these assets available for law enforcement and crime prevention initiatives.
  • Strengthen the rule of law through reforms and training programs designed to advance the efficiency and effectiveness of the criminal justice sector, reduce rates of pre-trial detention, and promote access to justice and due process.
  • Implement monitoring and evaluation systems to assess the progress on increasing security in the Caribbean

To Prevent Youth Crime and Violence

We commit to supporting criminal justice systems to use more restorative and rehabilitative approaches to juvenile justice, increasing the use of diversion and alternatives to custody, improving rehabilitation, and strengthening reintegration support for youth leaving custodial facilities.

We commit to fostering regional cooperation and building capacity to collect, analyse, and use reliable data to inform the design of effective citizen security and social interventions, and to cultivate a culture of research and learning.

We commit to building programs for violence prevention and reduction at all levels through the social justice lens and using a range of youth engagement methodologies to address the gaps in values, skills, support, and access.

To this end, we intend to:

  • Further refine juvenile justice country strategic plans.
  • Identify resources, put monitoring and evaluation systems in place, and begin implementation in order to increase the use and availability of alternative sentencing of diversion, rehabilitation, and reintegration programs for juvenile offenders.
  • Improve police-juvenile interactions.
  • Collaborate to synchronize sources of data on crime and violence in accordance with international standards for effective data collection, analysis, sharing, and decision-making.
  • Continue to deliver, monitor and evaluate evidence-informed prevention and social intervention programmes in partnership with youth, including at-risk youth, embracing a whole of society approach.
  • Continue to use the Technical Working Group Meeting on Preventing Crime by Focusing on At-Risk Youth and Vulnerable Populations as a mechanism to assess progress of reducing youth involvement in crime and violence

Establish a Stronger Security Partnership for the Future

We commit to the enhanced CBSI Objectives to reduce illicit trafficking; increase safety and security and preventing youth crime and violence to make the region safer and provide security for our citizens.

We further commit to:

  • Promote the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS) and Regional Security System (RSS) as the entities for the coordination of regional security programs and projects among the CARICOM States, RSS Member States, and with the Dominican Republic, and secure Caribbean funding for the Caribbean security institutions.
  • Strengthen the CARICOM security structure and institutions, to more effectively promote regional and international coordination, ensuring the full benefits of international partner efforts, the sharing of best practices, and the implementation of the CBSI and other regional security initiatives to address the security challenges facing the Caribbean.
  • Continue to implement the November 2017 MOU on cooperation between the Dominican Republic and CARICOM IMPACS to further common security objectives.
  • Formulate and implement policies to promote security and encourage continuation of efforts through regional integration mechanisms, multilateral agreements, and national contributions of adequate financing based on timely fiscal and budgetary policy decisions.
  • Continue political, technical, and financial collaboration among international partners with CARICOM IMPACS to advance citizen security.
  • Encourage nations, regional and international organizations, and private sector institutions to continue to collaborate with us, as appropriate, in advancing security throughout the Caribbean.
  • Share with international partners the outcomes and objectives of U.S. – Caribbean cooperation and engagement in the security sector and seek their continued cooperation and coordination to advance security in the Caribbean.
  • Acknowledge the inextricable link between security and resilience and the corresponding need to align cooperative efforts in the security arena with the newly launched U.S.-Caribbean Resilience Partnership.
  • Engage in further consultation and cooperation with regard to security considerations in critical infrastructure and telecommunications.

We thank the Government and people of the United States‎ for hosting the Eighth Caribbean-U.S. Security Cooperation Dialogue.

We ANTICIPATE continued success in our collective efforts to provide for the safety and security of our citizens in the Caribbean region.