Crime, security and economic development were high on the agenda of the recent two-day 24th CARICOM intersessional summit in Georgetown, Guyana recently.
CARICOM Secretary General Irwin La Rocque said crime continued to pose a threat to the 15-member regional grouping and is no longer just a national issue.
He said it’s a regional issue and it demands a regional solution,” he said, adding that trans-border crime is something one needs to address, given the need to reduce the level of criminality within the Caribbean.
The regional leaders had entered the summit with the future of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) that allows for the free movement of goods, skills, labor and services across the region still under review.
Guyana President David Granger acknowledged that the discussions “for which we received a review, the matter of free movement of skilled persons was ventilated. We agreed on priority areas to be addressed, including the completion of the protocol on procedures relating to facilitation of travel and we agreed in priority areas to be addressed including the challenges of payment for goods and services traded within the region.”
Granger said that the “unacceptable levels of crime” in CARICOM was another critical agenda item at the meeting with the leaders resolving “to do more to curb the scourge, including placing greater focus on the social determinations of crime, especially among the youth.”