BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, September 29, 2018 (Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – “Throughout the Caribbean, we suffer from an increase in crime connected to the trade in small arms, light weapons and the drug trade,” Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris declared as he addressed the General Debate of the United Nations General Assembly on Friday (September 28).
It was against this backdrop that the St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister issued an urgent call for countries where guns and other weapons are manufactured to do more to curb the trafficking of firearms into the Caribbean.
“These weapons flow into the Caribbean where they are not manufactured and are linked to an insatiable drug appetite in the West,” Prime Minister Harris stated. “It is beyond our power to unilaterally control the flow of guns into the region or the habit that drives the dangerous global drug trade.”
While Caribbean governments continue do all they can to protect their borders, Dr. Harris used the UN General Assembly to gain the support and assistance of the international community “as we work tirelessly to address this scourge.”
Prime Minister Harris, who is the Minister of National Security in the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis, reaffirmed his administration’s full commitment to the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT).
The Arms Trade Treaty establishes common standards for the international trade of conventional weapons and seeks to reduce the illicit arms trade. It aims to reduce human suffering caused by illegal and irresponsible arms transfers, improve regional security and stability, as well as to promote accountability and transparency by state parties concerning transfers of conventional arms.
Here in St. Kitts and Nevis, law enforcement agencies, backed by the Government’s increasing internal budgetary allocations to the Ministry of National Security, have stepped up their patrols and other joint operations that have so far resulted in the removal of thirty-three (33) illegal firearms from the nation’s streets for 2018.