Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs
May 27, 2010


Inaugural Caribbean-U.S. Security Cooperation Dialogue

We, the Governments of Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, the Commonwealth of Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Republic of Guyana, Republic of Haiti, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the Republic of Suriname, the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, the United States of America,

CONSCIOUS OF the unique characteristics of the Caribbean Basin which make it particularly vulnerable to multidimensional security threats;

RECOGNIZING the common threats posed to our States by increasing crime and violence resulting from cultivation, production, demand, and trafficking of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, illicit trafficking in small arms and light weapons and persons, as well as other transnational crimes;

AWARE of the need to substantially reduce illicit trafficking, advance public safety and security, and further promote social justice;

AWARE ALSO of the need to work together by using our respective resources to effectively face the multidimensional threats to our security and stability; and

RECALLING that the 1997 Declaration of Bridgetown, the 2003 Declaration on Security of the Americas, the 2007 Conference on the Caribbean Joint Statement, and the Santo Domingo Declaration of 2009, which recognize that the traditional concept and approach to security must be expanded to address non-traditional political, economic, social, health, and environmental threats.

DECLARE:

Our commitment to strengthen our cooperation in a spirit of mutual respect and shared responsibility by initiating a new security partnership in order to safeguard and preserve the peace, security, and socio-economic development of our nations and citizens; and

Our commitment to undertake mutually reinforcing actions to strengthen rule of law, law enforcement, security, public safety, and social justice institutions.

PLEDGE:

To work together to substantially reduce illicit trafficking in the Caribbean. Towards this end we commit to:

  • counter and reduce narcotics trafficking, the trafficking of small arms and light weapons, and the trafficking in persons;
  • make criminal organizations that carry out these acts of illicit trafficking and fuel the criminal violence disrupting our societies the focus of our joint efforts; and
  • take steps to counter and reduce money laundering in order to effectively combat trafficking organizations.

To work together to advance public safety and security through the combined efforts of our law enforcement, emergency response, and other relevant agencies. Towards this end we commit to:

  • seek to prevent and reduce crime and violence, dismantle and disrupt organized gangs, and reduce gang-related activities;
  • focus our efforts on border security, protecting the free flow of legitimate trade and travel while reducing illegal, undocumented migration and human smuggling, and reducing the flow of illegal goods;
  • not permit our nations and our critical infrastructure to fall victim to those who would do us harm, by fighting terrorism and transnational threats, including cybercrime;
  • work together to address the issue of criminal deportees and commit to share information in this regard; and
  • remain vigilant against natural and other disasters by focusing on disaster preparedness, mitigation, and recovery.

To work together to further promote social justice in our societies by addressing the important issues of crime prevention, justice sector reform, and corruption. Towards this end we commit to:

  • foster community and law enforcement cooperation and increase economic opportunities and skills for youth and other vulnerable populations, thereby combating many of the root causes of crime;
  • cooperate on improving our respective justice sectors through the sharing of best practices, improving the capacity of prosecutors to successfully prosecute criminals, and increasing communication between law enforcement, judicial, and civic organizations; and
  • target corruption in both the public and private spheres, allowing neither those who would corrupt public officials nor those who would allow themselves to be corrupted safe haven from the rule of law.

AGREE:

To initiate a new Caribbean-U.S. Framework for Security Cooperation Engagement in our efforts to address these strategic priorities;

To invite other nations, regional and international organizations, and private sector institutions to partner with us, as appropriate, in the implementation of this Framework; and

To enhance the security of our States and advance the safety of our citizens through a Joint Caribbean-U.S. Plan of Action which outlines mutual steps to address our common priorities.