Caribbean-United States Security Cooperation Dialogue
Caribbean-United States Framework for Security Cooperation
- The CARIBBEAN-U.S. SECURITY COOPERATION DIALOGUE will be held on a periodic basis. The venue for the Dialogue will alternate between the Caribbean and the United States.
- The CARIBBEAN-U.S. SECURITY COOPERATION COMMISSION will be responsible for: (1) Dialogue and its Preparations, (2) Monitoring Implementation, (3) Resource mobilization and Coordination (3) Reporting and metrics and (4) Identification of Next Steps.
- AD HOC TECHNICAL WORKING GROUPS will be established as necessary.
In 2010, the Caribbean States and the United States agreed to the “Caribbean-United States Framework for Security Cooperation” (Framework). This framework provided for a process of consultation on pressing security concerns and the need for strengthening cooperation among our states to respond to the security challenges we commonly face in the region. The Framework served as a guidepost for Caribbean and Partner engagement on security. Since 2010 significant developments not reflected in the original framework have been achieved, principally the adoption by CARICOM Member States of the 2013 CARICOM Crime and Security Strategy.
By mutual agreement, the 2010 Framework has been reviewed and updated to reflect the new and traditional security challenges and new layers of cooperation among the United States, Caribbean States, and other international partners.
This institutionalized Caribbean-U.S. Security Cooperation arrangement will continue to serve to advance and reinforce the efforts already underway to further secure the Caribbean region and the United States through improved cooperative relationships. This document re-establishes the Framework for security cooperation for the Caribbean States, (defined as CARICOM States and the Dominican Republic) and the United States. This document updates the 2010 Joint Caribbean-United States Framework For Security Cooperation Engagement, adopted in Washington, D.C.
The Caribbean suffers from relatively high homicide rates (average of 16 per 100,000 vs. a global average of 6.2) (UNODC 2014). In a number of countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, despite high human development achievements, many people feel threatened by rising rates of homicide and other violent crimes. (UNDP Human Development Report 2014).
In its 2017 Report “The Costs of Crime and Violence – New Evidence and Insights in LAC” the Inter-American Development Bank noted that: “The costs of these high crime rates are significant: people change their behavior to avoid crime or engage in criminal activity, households spend to protect themselves from crime, firms reduce their investment and incur productivity losses, and governments shift the allocation of resources.” The IDB concluded that:
1. The high social costs of crime in the Caribbean are driven by specifically high levels of violent crime (homicide and violent assault).
2. Crime affects a large portion of the private sector through losses directly from crime and through expenses relating to private security.
3. The relatively high government expenditure on combating crime goes overwhelmingly toward costs for police (and prisons), with precious little going to the judicial system and violence prevention.
To improve citizen security requires a coordinated multi-national and multi-sector approach including prevention, institutional reforms, and information sharing. An institutionalized Caribbean-U.S. Security Framework for Security Cooperation will serve to reinforce and advance the efforts already underway to further secure the region through improved cooperative relationships.
III. THE SECURITY COOPERATION PROCESS
Framework for Security Cooperation
It is intended that this Framework for Security Cooperation will be institutionalized through the implementation of the following measures and processes.
a. Institutional Arrangements and Instruments;
b. Resource Mobilization and Coordination;
c. Reporting Procedures; and,
d. Review Procedures (Monitoring and Evaluation).
A. Institutional Arrangements and Instruments
Caribbean-United States security cooperation has occurred at the bilateral and multilateral levels. 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. Caribbean-United States Framework for Security Cooperation
b. Caribbean-United States Declaration of Principles
c. Caribbean-United States Plan of Action
Based on assessments and agreement, several mechanisms for security cooperation have been identified to continue to advance the Declaration of Principles and Plan of Action. Among these mechanisms are:
- The High-Level Caribbean-United States Security Cooperation Dialogue, which serves to set goals and review progress at the political level. The Dialogue includes the participation of international partners.
- The Caribbean-United States Security Cooperation Commission, which serves as the highest diplomatic authority for executing the Caribbean-United States Framework for Security Cooperation, Declaration of Principles, and Plan of Action. The Commission is comprised of the CARICOM Security Management Committee (CSMC), the Dominican Republic, and the United States, and is open for participation by all Caribbean States and International Partners.
- Ad Hoc Joint Caribbean-United States Technical Working Groups, which serve to facilitate international cooperation and interagency collaboration, particularly with respect to strategic priorities identified in Section IV of this framework document. These Ad hoc Working Groups include the participation of international partners.
- Ratification of, or accession to international and regional security cooperation conventions and instruments, particularly with respect to organized crime, counter narcotics, counter-terrorism, trafficking in small arms and light weapons and anti-corruption.
B. Resource Mobilization and Coordination
Essential to the full implementation of the Declaration of Principles and Plan of Action is the mobilization and coordination of national, regional, and international resources. International partners and public and private sources of funding can contribute to the successful achievement of the Plan of Action. Strong support and understanding by legislative bodies and the public are also keys 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 may be carried out both by 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 periodically issue information on the status of implementation of the Plan of Action and outcomes of initiatives undertaken under this Framework for Security Cooperation, as well as other complementary security initiatives.
b. Caribbean States and United States Reporting Relationships and Procedures
It is intended that at least the following Caribbean/CARICOM authorities will be assigned reporting roles and relationships as indicated.
- CARICOM Secretariat;
- Security Policy Advisory Committee (SEPAC);
- Caribbean-United States Security Cooperation Commission
- CARICOM Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS);
- Regional Security System (RSS)
- CARICOM Standing Committees of Operational Entities
- Caribbean Security Coordination Committee Dominican Republic (CCSC-DR) (Comité de Coordinación para la Seguridad del Caribe CCSC-DR)
- Caribbean-U.S. Ad Hoc Technical Working Groups
CARICOM IMPACS, in particular, is assigned a lead role in the engagement process for the framework and will serve as the interlocutor for CARICOM member states with the Dominican Republic, the United States, and international partners. CARICOM IMPACS will as well ensure the responsibilities of the Commission are carried out.
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 Dialogue will constantly review progress achieved and recalibrate implementation measures considering the regional security environment, strategic objectives, and resource mobilization and coordination arrangements.
Monitoring and Evaluation
CARICOM IMPACS, in its capacity as CBSI Secretariat, will provide a report annually to the Commission based on input from all participants in the framework. A mechanism for Monitoring and Evaluation should be implemented. This mechanism would assist in determining the value added to all participating states, particularly at a time when resources are limited.
IV. CATEGORIES OF SECURITY COOPERATION
Framework of Strategic Priorities for the Engagement Process
The successful pursuit of the security cooperation 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. Pursuit of these priorities will be accomplished through the implementation of the Caribbean-U.S. Plan of Action and the CARICOM Crime and Security Strategy.
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 establishes 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.
The Caribbean States and the United States have identified three strategic priorities:
I. Substantially Reduce Illicit Trafficking
a. Counter Transnational Criminal Organizations;
b. Counter-narcotics: Counter and reduce the threat of illicit trafficking of narcotics;
c. Illicit Trafficking in Arms: Combat the illicit trafficking in small arms;
d. Money Laundering: Counter and reduce money laundering;
e. Trafficking in Persons: Prevent and eliminate trafficking in persons;
II. Advance Public Safety and Security
a. Crime and Violence: Reduce violent crime and increase community safety;
b. Counter-Terrorism: Protect our states from terrorism and transnational threats, including cyber-crime;
c. 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;
d. Cyber-crime: Protect our citizens and critical infrastructure;
e. Criminal Gangs: Dismantle and disrupt organized gangs and reduce gang- related violence;
f. Natural and Other Disasters: Prevent, mitigate and recover from natural and other disasters;
g. Health: Prevent the spread of pandemics through cooperation with border security;
III. Further Promote Social Justice
a. Prevention of Crime and Violence: Increase social, educational, and economic opportunities for vulnerable populations, in particular youth;
b. Building Trust between Communities and Law Enforcement: Foster improved community and law enforcement cooperation with training for police and civil society and increased opportunities for joint planning and problem-solving, including social intervention programs;
c. Justice Sector Reform: Increase access to justice and improve professionalism and efficiency in the judiciary, including the juvenile justice sector;
d. 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. International partnerships also play an important role in facilitating the accomplishment of these strategic priorities.
V. PRIORITIZATION OF SECURITY COOPERATION
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 and coordination.
VI. LEVELS OF SECURITY COOPERATION
Effective implementation of the Plan of Action will require three (3) levels of cooperation. These are:
a. The Political Level of Security Cooperation;
b. The Diplomatic Level of Security Cooperation; and,
c. The Technical Level of Security Cooperation.
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 authorities.
- CARICOM Conference of Heads of Government;
- CONSLE and COFCOR.
- Dominican Republic’s Presidency
b. United States:
- Executive Office of the President
- The U.S. Department of State
- Other applicable 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 authorities.
- Caribbean Ambassadors in Washington, D.C.
- CARICOM Secretariat
- Caribbean-United States Security Cooperation Commission
- Dominican Republic Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MIREX)
- CARICOM Ministries of Foreign Affairs
- 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 entities.
- CARICOM IMPACS
- Regional Security System (RSS)
- CARICOM Standing Committees of Operational Entities
- Ad hoc Caribbean-United States Technical Working Groups
b. United States:
- Applicable 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 between the Caribbean and the United States. To facilitate participation of all states, Dialogues should be held during the first half of any given calendar year.
b. Caribbean-United States Security Cooperation Commission:
The body will meet prior to the Dialogue to prepare the High-Level Caribbean-United States Security Cooperation Dialogue and seek to advance implementation of the Plan of Action. Participation is open to all Caribbean States. CARICOM Security Management Committee (CSMC) and the Dominican Republic and U.S. participation is essential for the success of the Commission work. To facilitate participation of all states, Commission meetings should be held during the first quarter of any given calendar year.
c. Ad Hoc Caribbean-United States Technical Working Groups:
The 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. Consistent meetings and participation by focal points is desirable for the success of the TWGs’ work.
VIII: The Role of International Partners
We welcome the role of other states and international partners in the fulfillment of our goals and objectives under the Framework and Joint Plan of Action.
The participation of international partners active in the Caribbean such as other states, regional and international organizations, as well as international financial institutions and the private sector are essential in advancing security throughout the Caribbean and have a role to play in the coordination and implementation of the CARICOM Crime and Security Strategy and the Joint Caribbean-U.S. Plan of Action on Security Cooperation.