On October 28, U.S. and Caribbean officials gathered virtually for the Ninth Caribbean – U.S.-Security Cooperation Dialogue. The Dialogue, under the theme “Strengthening Regional Coordination to Address Shared Security Challenges,” was conducted under the auspices of the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI). The annual ministerial-level gathering brought together the 13 CBSI partner nations, Haiti, Belize, CARICOM (the Caribbean Community), 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 thirteen CBSI countries are Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago.
Acting Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs Ambassador Michael Kozak highlighted that the shared security challenges in the Caribbean requires a united, regional approach focused on promoting the safety and security of our citizens.
Assistant Secretary for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs Kirsten D. Madison stressed the importance of developing interagency responses to dismantle the modern criminal organization business model.
Joshua Rusk, Chief of the International Affairs Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), announced the impending formation of an interagency working group to improve the tracing of illegal firearms used in criminal activity.
Carlos Suarez, Senior Deputy Administrator for the Bureau of Latin America and the Caribbean, described USAID’s approach to crime and violence prevention programming by emphasizing the importance of monitoring, evaluating, and learning from cutting-edge evidence.