(CMC) — The United States government says the Caribbean-US Security Dialogue reinforces regional collaboration in maritime domain, firearms tracing and cybersecurity.
In a statement, the Department of State said that US and Caribbean officials gathered virtually for the Ninth Caribbean-US Security Cooperation Dialogue, late last month under the theme, “Strengthening Regional Coordination to Address Shared Security Challenges”.
The State Department said the dialogue was conducted under the auspices of the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI) and that the annual ministerial-level gathering brought together the 13 CBSI partner nations and key international donors “to discuss the challenges facing the region, including maritime security, tracing illegal firearms, mitigating human trafficking, increasing cybersecurity, and preventing youth crime and violence”.
The 13 CBSI countries are Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St Lucia, St Kitts-Nevis, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago.
Acting US Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs, Ambassador Michael Kozak said that the shared security challenges in the Caribbean requires “a united, regional approach focused on promoting the safety and security of our citizens” while Assistant Secretary for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs Kirsten Madison stressed the importance of developing interagency responses “to dismantle the modern criminal organisation business model”.
Chief of the International Affairs Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Joshua Rusk, announced the impending formation of an interagency working group to improve the tracing of illegal firearms used in criminal activity.
Senior Deputy Administrator for the Bureau of Latin America and the Caribbean, Carlos Suarez, described the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) approach to crime and violence prevention programming by “emphasising the importance of monitoring, evaluating, and learning from cutting-edge evidence”.
Last Sunday, the Trump administration said it was “proud” of the US-Caribbean Resilience Partnership.
“As regional partners, our countries are working together to increase security, expand prosperity and uphold democratic values,” said US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo in a message to the people of Antigua and Barbuda, congratulating them on their 39th anniversary of political independence.
“We are proud of the US-Caribbean Resilience Partnership that strengthens our preparedness for hurricanes and other natural disasters,” he added.