Caribbean Community and the United States Initiative to Combat Illicit Trafficking in Small Arms and Light Weapons

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Today, the U.S. and Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries pledged to enhance regional cooperation to prevent, combat, and eradicate the illicit trafficking in small arms and light weapons in the region. Illicit trafficking in small arms and light weapons poses a serious threat to the security of the Western Hemisphere because this thriving black market provides weapons to terrorist groups, drug traffickers, gangs, and other criminal organizations.

The initiative responds to the agreement between the CARICOM Foreign Ministers and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on March 22, 2006 calling for a partnership against the illicit trafficking in small arms and light weapons and reaffirmed during the U.S. and CARICOM Summit during the June 2007 Conference on the Caribbean in Washington. The United States and CARICOM member states issued a regional initiative outlining concrete and practical measures they will undertake to address the illicit trafficking in small arms and light weapons throughout the region. The United States and CARICOM Member States urge other states in the hemisphere to join this effort.

Text of the Caribbean Community and United States Initiative

The Members States of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the United States of America express their concern over the growing gray and black arms market in the hemisphere which has the potential to increase access by terrorist groups, drug traffickers, gangs, and other criminal organizations to these weapons. CARICOM Member States do not produce small arms, light weapons and ammunition, nor are they large scale importers of them.

As nations committed to the values of freedom, democracy, and peace, CARICOM Member States and the U.S. are extremely concerned about the illicit trafficking in small arms, light weapons and ammunition in the region which threatens the security of CARICOM Member States and impairs their economic and social development.

In light of their common values and concerns, CARICOM Member States and the U.S. declare their resolve to prevent, combat, and eradicate the illicit trade in small arms, light weapons and ammunition in the region. Building on their shared desire to protect their citizens and improve their ability to enjoy the benefits of democracy, security and development, CARICOM Member States and the U.S. resolve:

* To combat illicit arms trafficking relentlessly. They welcome the active and vigorous cooperation between CARICOM Member States and the U. …