Caribbean-United States Security Cooperation Dialogue
May 27, 2010
1. The CARIBBEAN-U.S. SECURITY COOPERATION DIALOGUE will be held once a year. The venue for the Dialogue will alternate annually between the Caribbean and the United States.
2. The CARIBBEAN-U.S. SECURITY COOPERATION COMMISSION will be responsible for: (1) Dialogue and its Preparations, (2) Monitoring Implementation, (3) Resource mobilization (3) Reporting and metrics.
3. AD HOC TECHNICAL WORKING GROUPS will be established as necessary.
In his address to the opening session of the 5th Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago in April 2009, U.S. President, Barack Obama, made it clear that the United States will, through the development of practical initiatives based on a mutually beneficial partnership, seek a new and more balanced relationship with the Caribbean region. Regional leaders also reiterated the need for enhanced international cooperation and welcomed President Obama’s pledge for Caribbean–U.S. security cooperation.
In the Bridgetown Declaration of Principles adopted in Barbados in May 1997, Heads of State and Government of Caribbean states and the United States of America had pledged to: “strengthen co-operation in responding to the challenges of the coming millennium, in a spirit of partnership and mutual respect.” Further, the Conference on the Caribbean in Washington, D.C. in June 2007 reiterated this commitment. However, the proposal for a “new and more balanced relationship” and the acknowledgment of the requirement for a “mutually beneficial partnership” represents a commitment to a new process of security cooperation and a significant milestone in the evolving relationship between the United States and the Caribbean States.
An institutionalized Caribbean-U.S. Security Cooperation arrangement will serve to advance and reinforce the efforts already underway to further secure the Caribbean region through improved cooperative relationships. This document establishes the framework for security cooperation engagement for the Caribbean States, (defined as CARICOM States and the Dominican Republic) and the United States.
In its 2007 Report Crime, Violence, and Development: Trends, Costs, and Policy Options in the Caribbean the UNODC/World Bank noted that "the high rates of crime and violence in the Caribbean are undermining growth, threatening human welfare, and impeding social development." The Report also makes the telling point that "the strongest explanation for the relatively high crime and violence rates in the region – and their apparent rise in recent years – is narcotics trafficking."
The geographical location of the region between the major drug producing states and the consuming markets has increased the vulnerability of Caribbean states to the effects of the transnational illicit drug trade, associated crime and other forms of transnational organized crime. Further, as a region of mainly small territories, the Caribbean lacks the domestic capacity to address these security challenges. In addition, many Caribbean states face challenges from domestic issues related to poverty, high rates of unemployment, social inequality and marginalization, and inadequacies of their criminal justice systems.
The United States of America has identified the Caribbean Region as its “Third Border.” The United States has been a long-standing significant partner to states in the region and has played a key role in strengthening Caribbean economies and enhancing their security. An institutionalized Caribbean-U.S. Security Framework for Security Cooperation Engagement will serve to reinforce and advance the efforts already underway to further secure the region through improved cooperative relationships.
III. THE ENGAGEMENT PROCESS
Framework for Engagement
It is intended that this Framework for Security Cooperation Engagement will be institutionalized through the implementation of the following measures and processes.
a. Institutional Arrangements and Instruments;
b. Resource Mobilization Initiatives;
c. Reporting Procedures; and,
d. Review Procedures.
A. Institutional Arrangements and Instruments
Caribbean-United States security cooperation to date has occurred principally at the bilateral level. While respecting the continued need for bilateral relations that will reflect the unique linkages between them, the principal institutional arrangements and instruments for security cooperation between the Caribbean States and the United States will be supported by:
a. Joint Caribbean-United States Framework For Security Cooperation Engagement
b. Caribbean-United States Declaration of Principles
c. Caribbean-United States Plan of Action
Based on assessments and agreement, several new mechanisms for engagement have been identified to advance the Declaration of Principles and Plan of Action. Among these mechanisms are:
(1) Establishment of a Caribbean-United States Security Cooperation Commission to serve as the highest authority for executing the Joint Caribbean-United States Framework for Security Cooperation Engagement, Declaration of Principles, and Plan of Action;
(2) Establishment of Ad Hoc Joint Caribbean-United States Technical Working Groups to facilitate international cooperation and interagency collaboration, particularly with respect to strategic priorities identified in Section IV of this framework document. These Working Groups may include international partners.
(3) Ratification of, or accession to international and regional security cooperation conventions and instruments, particularly with respect to organized crime, counternarcotics, counter-terrorism, trafficking in small arms and light weapons and anti-corruption;
(4) Establishment of a Caribbean Regional Maritime and Airspace Security Coordination Centre, particularly for reconnaissance, surveillance, patrolling and interdiction activity;
(5) Establishment of a Regional Oversight Mechanism for Anti-Corruption Policy Development, Monitoring and Evaluation; and
(6) Expansion of joint training mechanisms, where appropriate, to enhance the capabilities of Caribbean law enforcement and security forces and to promote joint operations and activities.
B. Resource Mobilization
Essential to the full implementation of the Declaration of Principles and Plan of Action will be the mobilization and coordination of national, regional, and international resources. International partners and public and private sources of funding and partnerships can contribute to the successful achievement of the Plan of Action. Strong support and understanding by legislative bodies and the public are also key to success.
C. Reporting Relationships and Procedures
a. Joint Reporting Relationships and Procedures
It is intended that reporting on the outcomes of initiatives undertaken under this Framework for Security Cooperation Engagement may be carried out by both Caribbean states and the United States to address their domestic interests and concerns. It is however intended that the Caribbean-United States Security Cooperation Commission will publish a joint report annually on the status of implementation on the Plan of Action.
b. Caribbean States and United States Reporting Relationships and Procedures
It is intended that at least the following Caribbean\CARICOM authorities (either currently existing or required [in bold]) will be assigned reporting roles and relationships as indicated.
(1) CARICOM Secretariat;
(2) Security Policy Advisory Committee (SEPAC);
(3) Caribbean-United States Security Cooperation Commission
(4) CARICOM Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS);
(5) Regional Security System (RSS)
(6) CARICOM Standing Committees of Operational Entities
(7) Caribbean Security Coordination Committee Dominican Republic (CCSC-DR) (Comité de Coordinacion para la Seguridad del Caribe CCSC-DR)
(8) Caribbean-U.S. Ad Hoc Technical Working Groups
D. Review Procedures
The capacity of Caribbean-United States security cooperation to adapt accurately to changing realities will depend on the effectiveness of the review procedures established. In this regard, the annual Dialogue will constantly review progress achieved and recalibrate implementation measures considering the Caribbean Needs Assessment Matrix, the regional security environment, strategic objectives, resource mobilization arrangements, and performance indicators.
IV. CATEGORIES OF ENGAGEMENT
Framework of Strategic Priorities for the Engagement Process
The successful pursuit of a new and non-traditional security engagement process between the Caribbean and the United States requires the accurate identification of the strategic priorities that frame the realities of the current regional security environment. The Caribbean States have conducted a comprehensive Needs Assessment and developed a Matrix which informs these strategic priorities. These strategic priorities provide accurate definition of the principal contexts or categories for security cooperation. Pursuit of these priorities will be accomplished through the implementation of the Caribbean-U.S. Plan of Action.
The Caribbean-U.S. Declaration of Principles and Plan of Action are the basic instruments intended to be used, in a comprehensive manner, to guide the coordinated security actions to be adopted by the states of the region in the context of their respective legal systems. In this regard, the Declaration and Plan of Action establish common objectives, action areas, and procedures to be followed to achieve the required levels of security for the citizens of the Caribbean and the United States. Furthermore, the Caribbean Needs Assessment Matrix is an important tool to identify financial needs and to arrange for international cooperation in a harmonized fashion.
The Caribbean States and the United States have identified three strategic priorities:
I. Substantially Reduce Illicit Trafficking
a. Counternarcotics: Counter and reduce the threat of illicit trafficking of narcotics;
b. Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW): Combat the trafficking of small arms and light weapons;
c. Money Laundering: Counter and reduce money laundering;
d. Trafficking in Persons: Prevent and eliminate the trafficking in persons;
II. Advance Public Safety and Security
a. Crime and Violence: Reduce violent crime and increase community safety;
b. Border Security: Protect the free flow of legitimate trade and travel; reduce illegal and undocumented migration, including human smuggling, and the illegal flow of goods; and cooperate to address the issue of criminal deportees so as to mitigate any impact on public safety and security;
c. Counter-Terrorism: Protect our states from terrorism and transnational threats, including cyber crime;
d. Criminal Gangs: Dismantle and disrupt organized gangs and reduce gang related violence;
e. Natural and Other Disasters: Prevent, mitigate and recover from natural and other disasters;
III. Further Promote Social Justice
a. Crime Prevention: Increase economic opportunities and skills for vulnerable populations, in particular youth, and foster community and law enforcement cooperation;
b. Justice Sector Reform: Increase access to and strengthen the justice sector;
c. Anti-Corruption: Reduce corruption in the public and private sectors.
To accomplish these strategic priorities, we must acquire and increase the capabilities and capacities of national and regional institutions that are intended to prevent crime and reduce violence in the Caribbean region by strengthening national and regional institutions and mechanisms, law enforcement and defense institutions, regional forensics capabilities, drug, crime and violence prevention programs and intelligence and information sharing.
V. PRIORITIZATION OF ENGAGEMENT
Criteria for Prioritization
Based on the nature of the threats, concerns, and other challenges the targeted programmatic measures identified in the Plan of Action will be prioritized. Three (3) criteria will be employed in the ongoing prioritization process. These are:
a. Potential for a positive impact on the reduction of crime and violence;
b. The urgency for implementation; and,
c. The feasibility for resource mobilization.
VI. LEVELS OF ENGAGEMENT
Effective implementation of the Plan of Action will require three (3) levels of engagement. These are:
a. The Political Level of Engagement;
b. The Diplomatic Level of Engagement; and,
c. The Technical Level of Engagement.
Political Engagement The responsibility for the political level of engagement required to implement the Plan of Action will be discharged on behalf of the Caribbean and the United States respectively by the following existing authorities.
(1) CARICOM Conference of Heads of Government;
(2) CONSLE and COFCOR.
(3) Dominican Republic’s Presidency
b. United States:
(1) Executive Office of the President
(2) The U.S. Department of State
(3) Other U.S. Government Agencies
Diplomatic Engagement The responsibility for the diplomatic level of engagement necessary to implement the Plan of Action will be discharged on behalf of the Caribbean\CARICOM and the United States respectively by the following existing or required authorities (in bold).
(1) Caribbean Ambassadors in Washington, D.C.
(2) CARICOM Secretariat ;
(3) Caribbean-United States Security Cooperation Commission
(4) Dominican Republic Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MIREX)
(5) CARICOM Ministries of Foreign Affairs
(6) U.S. Department of State
Technical Engagement The responsibility for the technical level of engagement of the Declaration of Principles and Plan of Action will be discharged on behalf of the Caribbean and the United States respectively by the following existing or required entities.
(1) CARICOM IMPACS
(2) Regional Security System (RSS)
(3) CARICOM Standing Committees of Operational Entities
(5) Ad hoc Caribbean-United States Technical Working Groups
b. United States:
(1) U.S. Government Agencies
VII. MECHANISMS FOR ENGAGEMENT\IMPLEMENTATION
Concept of Implementation
A new, more pragmatic and implementable approach to engagement has been identified as a critical requirement for the success of the Framework and Plan of Action.
To accomplish this objective, the concept of implementation for the engagement mechanisms of the strategy reflects a shift from past patterns of predominantly bilateral, country by country engagements. The new concept also strengthens the Caribbean Region’s capacity to implement available United States security cooperation instruments and initiatives. Consistent with the levels of responsibility identified in this engagement framework, it is intended that the implementation of the Plan of Action will result in the institutionalization of a relevant, coherent, balanced, inclusive, multi-level and regional approach to future Caribbean-United States security cooperation, with mechanisms established in both the Caribbean and in the United States.
It is intended that the following mechanisms for the implementation of the Plan of Action will be comprised as indicated.
a. High-Level Caribbean-United States Security Cooperation Dialogue
The venue for the Dialogue will alternate annually between the Caribbean and the United States.
b. Caribbean-United States Security Cooperation Commission
The body will meet semi-annually to prepare the High-Level Caribbean-United States Security Cooperation Dialogue and seek to advance implementation of the Plan of Action.
c. Ad Hoc Caribbean-United States Technical Working Groups
It is envisaged that these Technical Working Groups will meet on an ad hoc basis to advance technical cooperation on aspects of the Plan of Action, review implementation efforts, develop benchmarks, and propose additional measures. The Ad Hoc Technical Working Groups should consider the inclusion of nongovernmental stakeholders, as appropriate.
d. Caribbean Resource Mobilization Committee
The existing CARICOM Resource Mobilization Committee would be expanded to include the Dominican Republic and would continue its function to support Caribbean Security planning.