H.E. Henry Mac Donald
Ambassador and Permanent Representative
PERMANENT MISSION OF SURINAME TO THE UNITED NATIONS
ON BEHALF OF THE CARIBBEAN COMMUNITY
ON THE OCCASION OF THE
High-level Meeting of the General Assembly on
Transnational Organized Crime
United Nations Headquarters, New York
June 17, 2010
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I have the honour to take the floor on behalf of the fourteen Member States of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) to speak on the issue of transnational organized crime.
In the Caribbean, transnational organised crime and its attendant cross border activities has evolved into a major threat to regional security as the countries within the region grapple with increased criminal activity, which has moved from random acts of criminality to criminal activities that are being carried out in an increasingly organised and highly professional manner. These indicators undeniably point to a changing dynamic of illicit cross border activity in a progressively more sophisticated and technological global environment.
Transnational Organised Crime is a major destabilising factor that affects the security and stability of Western Hemispheric countries and indeed the rest of the world. The increasing availability of illicit small arms and light weapons within the region and their close links to global trafficking in illegal drugs, the effects of money laundering, terrorist activities, cyber crimes, trafficking in persons, among other factors, have all evolved into a multidimensional threat that has impacted negatively on public security and safety. The Caribbean region, needless to say, is especially affected by this threat.
As a result, various Governments within the region are already aggressively pursuing a number of measures aimed at addressing the issue of transnational organized crime, including the adoption of bilateral, regional and global arrangements. These measures have mostly resulted in identifying new approaches and ideas as well as exchange of information and experience.
Moreover, CARICOM states are undertaking legislative review and amendments, institutional reform and capacity building, through their respective national security and criminal justice frameworks.
To date a number of states within the region have ratified or acceded to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime along with its Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children as well as its Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air. Many governments have also demonstrated their commitment to confronting this threat by acceding to the protocol against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, their Parts and Components and Ammunition.
The Region has shown its commitment in the fight against transnational organized crime through the establishment by the CARICOM HEADS OF GOVERNMENT of the CARICOM Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS); as well as through the use of newly emergent technologies and training and skills enhancement programmes, all aimed at enhancing capacity and competencies among regional law enforcement agencies. Additionally, CARICOM states have embarked on fostering Judicial Cooperation and legislative reform and the introduction of critical E-tracing technology in the fight against transnational organized crime.
The adoption in 2009 of the Political Declaration on Combating Illicit Drug Trafficking, Organized Crime, Terrorism and other Serious Crime in the Caribbean further affirms the Region’s ongoing commitment to the issue.
The region, however, maintains its strong position on the need to strengthen collaboration and cooperation among states and the UNODC in efforts to address the challenge.
Due to our limited resources and the vulnerabilities of our economies we are of the firm view that it is only through a coordinated and multilateral approach that we can effectively counter these threats.
It is therefore with great anticipation that we look forward to a revitalization of the relationship between CARICOM and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) by the proposed reestablishment of a country office in the Caribbean. This presence will indeed enhance the Region’s approach to tackle the many challenges faced as a result of transnational organized crime.
On this occasion of the tenth anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on Transnational Organized Crime and its additional Protocols, CARICOM expressed its support for the adoption of a Political Declaration as an important expression of political will on the part of the Member States to eradicate this global phenomenon which requires concerted action by the international community. In this regard we regret that agreement could not be reached on the text for such a declaration.
I thank you.