We, the Governments of Antigua and Barbuda, the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, the Commonwealth of Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, the Republic of Haiti, Jamaica, the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, the Republic of Suriname, the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, and the United States of America, do hereby:
Acknowledge our productive consultations on citizen security held in Santo Domingo from 29-30 November 2017;
Call attention to the security pillar of Caribbean 2020, (the U.S Strategy for Engagement in the Caribbean), which calls for the strengthening of our mutual national security and advancing the safety of our citizens by pursuing programs to dismantle transnational criminal and terrorist organizations, curb the trafficking and smuggling of illicit goods and people, strengthen the rule of law, improve citizen security, and counter vulnerability to terrorist threats;
Welcome the active role, support and participation of the Dominican Republic in contributing to security in the Caribbean region;
Welcome the partnership with other states, global, and regional organizations and international financial institutions in support of citizen security in the Caribbean region.
Reaffirm our commitment to substantially reduce illicit trafficking, advance public safety, and promote social justice to enhance our mutual security;
Underscore the critical importance of regional integration mechanisms for our efforts to improve citizen security;
Commit to working on the following specific goals in 2018:
1. To Reduce Illicit Trafficking
We commit to strengthening public security and prevention institutions. We pledge to support law enforcement and border-control agencies, defense forces, and regional security institutions with training, equipment, institution-building programs, technical assistance, and operational collaboration to strengthen our partnership in the fight against transnational criminal and terrorist organizations. We are resolved to helping improve cooperation, accountability, and trust between the security forces and the public.
We commit to developing and implementing a regional maritime strategy. We pledge to continue the process to define a common operational framework to tackle shared threats, including combating maritime drug trafficking, and promoting law enforcement information sharing.
We commit to greater regional collaboration for citizen security and enhancing maritime security. To this end, we will:
- Continue to enhance regional cooperation among the various Caribbean regional security arrangements: CARICOM Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS), the Regional Security System (RSS), and Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA).
- Increase the use of the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI) Connect online training portal, which connects Caribbean law enforcement academies, and allows for joint regional trainings and secure communications between and among Caribbean national and regional law enforcement and border security agencies.
- Increase the use of the Cooperative Situational Integration Initiative (CSII), which provides enhanced maritime and air domain awareness and allows increased cooperation amongst maritime security efforts in the region and with the United States.
- Convene a Technical Working Group (TWG) meeting to be hosted by the RSS to discuss the development of an operational regional maritime strategy.
2. To Advance Public Safety and Security
We commit to bolstering partnerships with governments and civil society to prevent, investigate, and prosecute terrorism; to counter terrorist financing and facilitation networks; to reduce the vulnerability to radicalization; and to improve border security.
We commit to increasing governments’ capacity to investigate and prosecute domestic and transnational crime, assist victims, dismantle criminal organizations, and expand rehabilitation options for juvenile offenders.
To this end, we will:
- Continue to work in collaboration with CDEMA to mitigate the impact of disasters.
- Strengthen national capabilities to provide critical resources and protect infrastructure.
- Convene a TWG on financial crime and asset forfeiture.
- Call upon CARICOM IMPACS to host a national authority meeting on ballistic forensics to better facilitate cooperation among Caribbean states and international partners.
- Improve border and document security by continuing to build the capacity of immigration and other border security and other relevant officials through requisite workshops, training programs and seminars.
3. To Promote Social Justice
We commit to further strengthening the resilience of at-risk communities, particularly their youth, with a focus on those most likely to become involved in criminal and other risky behavior, by providing educational, economic and social opportunities. Facilitating relevant, meaningful, focused, and measureable social intervention programs geared to addressing the challenges faced by the at-risk youth population is critical.
We commit to supporting criminal justice systems to use more restorative and rehabilitative approaches to juvenile justice, increasing the use of diversion and alternatives to custody, improving rehabilitation, and strengthening reintegration support for youth leaving custodial facilities.
We commit to fostering regional cooperation to build capacity to collect, analyze, and use data to inform citizen security and social interventions.
To this end, we will:
- Continue to deliver and evaluate evidence-informed prevention and social intervention programs in partnership with at-risk communities and youth by convening the TWG meeting on Preventing Crime by Focusing on At-Risk Youth and Vulnerable Populations.
- Develop a multi-year plan to increase the use of alternative sentencing and availability of diversion, rehabilitation, and reintegration programs for juvenile offenders.
- Collaborate in the effort to harmonize and standardize sources of data on crime and violence and to create a regional platform for the effective collection, analysis, and dissemination of said data.
4. International Partners
We welcome the support and collaboration of other states and international financial institutions such as the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), World Bank, and regional organizations such as the Organization of American States (OAS), entities of the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD), the Inter-American Committee Against Terrorism (CICTE) and the Department of Transnational Organized Crime.
We thank the Government and people of the Dominican Republic for hosting this critical high-level meeting advancing the security of our citizens.