(GIS) – Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, Secretary General of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), called on CARICOM to counteract the threat of crime and violence.
In addressing the opening of the 29th Inter-Sessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government, Ambassador LaRocque said: “As we pool our resources and strategize to combat the damaging effects of climate change, we need to do so as well to counteract another threat to our societies—the effects of crime and violence.”
He pointed to the toll on societies through loss of lives, injuries, and psychological trauma, and observed that the greatest impact was on families.
At the regional level, the Secretary-General suggested revisiting the CARICOM Crime and Security Strategy (CCSS) signed five years ago in Haiti, to identify areas for improvement in order to make it more effective. He pointed also to a number of legal instruments which he said were significant additions to CARICOM’s armoury against trans-border crime. In this context, he singled out the CARICOM Arrest Warrant Treaty and the Agreement on the Return or Sharing of Recovered Assets, stating that he looked forward to the “Treaty being ratified as soon as possible” and to the completion of the negotiations for the Agreement.
The CARICOM Arrest Warrant Treaty simplifies the procedure of returning fugitives to the country where charges have been laid, while the Agreement on the Return or Sharing of Recovered Assets provides a framework for the return or sharing of criminal assets which have been moved to another jurisdiction.
Secretary-General LaRocque reminded that the issue of crime and violence was regional problem demanding a regional solution and that it required the full cooperation of all the national and regional agencies charged with the responsibility for addressing crime and security.
The opening of the 29th Inter-Sessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government, was held on Feb. 26, in Port of Prince, Haiti.