Regional Meeting of the Community of Practitioners against Firearms Trafficking and Related Crimes in the Caribbean by UNODC Global Firearms Programme with CARICOM IMPACS
On 16-17 December 2021, s part of the project “Supporting the implementation of the crime prevention and criminal justice component of the Caribbean Firearms Roadmap”, the UNODC Global Firearms Programme, in cooperation with CARICOM IMPACS, organised a regional meeting of the Community of Practitioners against illicit firearms trafficking and related crimes in the Caribbean, which was held from 16 to 17 December 2021 in Panama City. The meeting was attended, virtually and in person, by 28 national experts and representatives from Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Curacao, Grenada, Guyana, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Martinique, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago from institutions and entities with competence in combatting illicit firearms trafficking and related crimes, including the Public Prosecutor’s Office (specialised in firearms trafficking and/or organised crime) and National Police (specialised in arms control and combating illicit trafficking).
The meeting included presentations and discussions among the participating countries, where they shared relevant cases; roundtables to dissect the strengths and weaknesses of unsuccessful cases, including investigative, prosecutorial and procedural errors; discussions on possible common approaches to promote cooperation, as well as actions to combat illicit firearms trafficking to and within the region; and finally, contributing with recommendations and conclusions. Participants exchanged experiences which supported peer-to-peer analysis, promoting cooperation among these countries and at a regional level in the Caribbean. They also identified best practices and lessons learned.
The activity was part of the project “Supporting the implementation of the crime prevention and criminal justice component of the Caribbean Firearms Roadmap”, aimed to prevent and counter illicit manufacturing of and trafficking in firearms and their links to transnational organised crime and other serious crimes, and ultimately to address the scourges of armed violence in the region by:
- Enhanced capacity of criminal justice system to counter illicit proliferation and misuse of firearms in the context of the Caribbean Roadmap and reinforce legislative and regulatory frameworks to comply with international and regional instruments
- Enhanced capacity of criminal justice institutions and border management services to detect, investigate, prosecute, and adjudicate illicit firearms trafficking cases and related offences, and to engage in effective law enforcement and judicial cooperation for that purpose.
- Promote effective international cooperation and sharing of information and good practices among firearms and organised crime practitioners on the prevention and combat of firearms trafficking and related crimes, through regular contacts and use of specialised cooperation networks and platforms.
- Monitoring illicit trafficking flows through enhanced periodic data collection and analysis on firearms and related matters.