St. Kitts and Nevis to host sub-regional consultation on CARICOM Action Plan
BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, SEPTEMBER 24TH 2010 (CUOPM) – St. Kitts and Nevis hosts the second of a series of sub-regional consultations on the draft Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Action Plan for Social Development and Crime Prevention next month.
The October 5th to 7th meeting brings together stakeholders from Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Drawn from government, private sector civil society and academic institutions, the participants will review and fine-tune the action plan which is designed to help reduce violence and crime in CARICOM Member States, the Dominican Republic and Cuba.
The Consultation is organised by the CARICOM Secretariat with the support of the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) who were instrumental in the initial drafting of the action plan.
The action plan is hinged on five pillars: reduce violence, foster social inclusion, promote integration, empower victims and protect the environment and economic resources.
The first in the series was held in Trinidad and in setting the tone for the two-day working session, Ms Beverley Reynolds, CARICOM Secretariat’s Programme Manager for Sustainable Development outlined the purpose of the consultations, noting that at the end of the two days, stakeholders should have prioritised actions under the five pillars within the Action Plan and make recommendations on other key areas and priority actions to be included in the final document.
She added that stakeholders would also be expected to assist with developing indicators for priority actions and identifying mechanisms for monitoring implementation and evaluation of the plan. Emphasising the cross-cutting nature of the CARICOM Action Plan for Social Development and Crime Prevention, Mrs Reynolds, who is also the CARICOM Focal Point for its implementation, pointed out that the Plan was reflective of the Community’s thrust towards Functional Cooperation.
In his remarks, Dr. Marcus Dey, UNODC Consultant and Director of the Caribbean Drug and Alcohol Research Institute apprised stakeholders of disturbing statistics on crime and violence in the Region, reiterating the need for the Community to adopt new and radical strategies to dealing with the radical nature of crime and violence.
“The challenges faced by the Region in dealing with crime and violence are well known,” he said, asserting that the key to a sustainable prevention programme lay in the construction and implementation of crime prevention strategies that required a new approach to partnerships.
Mrs Antoinette Lucas-Andrews, International Affairs Advisor in the Trinidad and Tobago Ministry of National Security, reminded them that the outcomes of the Action Plan would be critical in impacting the lives of people in the Caribbean Region.
She also told the Meeting that Trinidad and Tobago had already conducted a series of national consultations in anticipation of the meeting, and were ready to share some best practices.