Effective Strategies to Address Violent Crime as A Public Health Issue Require Data, Research and Financing – CARICOM Secretary-General

CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana –: As CARICOM Heads of Government begin a regional symposium to address crime and violence as a public health issue in Port-of-Spain, Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, on Monday, 17 April, CARICOM Secretary-General, Dr. Carla Barnett said that timely implementation of solutions to address the underlying causes will require human and financial resources, data and research.

In her welcome remarks to the ten Heads of Government and the approximately 300 delegates gathered at the Hyatt Regency Trinidad, Dr. Barnett underscored that violence in our Region is an epidemic requiring evidenced based strategies to combat the scourge.

“The data and research, along with the financial resources, will allow timely implementation of the root causes of crime and mitigate the devastating effects of crime and violence on our societies,” she emphasized.

She noted that while the decision to host the symposium was previously a national undertaking for the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, the rising crime and violence across the Region affects all Member States, and the decision to extend it to the Region was a welcome one.

Dr. the Honourable Keith Rowley, Prime Minister of the twin island republic, is the Lead Head of State with responsibility for Crime and Security and Chair of the symposium.

Over the two days of meeting and discussion, symposium delegates will benefit from the experiences and perspectives of CARICOM Heads of Government and technical experts in crime and violence prevention and public health. They will identify priority actions and an action plan for a public health response.

They will also explore transnational organized crime and the challenges with light weapons and small arms in Latin America and the Caribbean, and unpack economic and social perspectives on crime and violence and community approaches to its management.

“We have an ambitious programme of work for the next two days, and I look forward to the recommendations and decisions,” the Secretary-General said

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