EU – Caribbean Unite Against International Organised Crime

(MENAFN- Caribbean News Global) BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – Further advancing the EU-Caribbean cooperation on Justice and Security, the European Union and Caribbean nations are set to convene in Barbados for the First Strategic Caribbean Focal Points Meeting. This gathering signifies the beginning of a joint work to map concrete opportunities for collaboration in the fight against international organised crime. The two sides will establish a joint strategy for the coming years, enabling collaboration at political, institutional and operational levels.

Against the backdrop of a complex global landscape and unique challenges in the Caribbean region, addressing international organized crime presents several key hurdles. These include legal barriers to prosecuting cross-border crime, the evolving threat of cybercrime, fragmented judicial efforts in different jurisdictions, high incidence of transnational illegal arms trade, sophisticated money laundering techniques and issues of overcrowding in inadequate prison facilities.

EL PACCTO 2.0, a European Union cooperation programme with Latin America and the Caribbean seeks to directly tackle these challenges. It aims to establish systematic operational cooperation between the two regions, promote skills development and training, and hold regular High-level Dialogues with focus on the regional and bi-regional perspectives. For the first time, the Caribbean area is included in this programme.

This first meeting in Barbados marks the commencement of a long-term cooperation strategy between the European Union and the Caribbean justice and security institutions.

The stakeholders will discuss concrete and innovative solutions across the board. They will focus on the capability to efficiently prosecute transnational crimes, the improvement of judicial cooperation across borders, the fight against cybercrime, the enhancement of prison systems, new firearms trafficking prevention initiatives, the capacity to trace and recover illicit financial assets, and the partners' ability to monitor and regulate cryptocurrency transactions, reducing illicit use.

This significant development aligns with the commitments of the EU-CELAC Summit in Brussels in 2023, where the two regions pledged to strengthen cooperation initiatives in this domain, under the framework of the EU-LAC Partnership on Justice and Security.

The meeting is inaugurated by Wilfred Abrahams, minister of home affairs, information and public affairs of Barbados, and Małgorzata Wasilewska, EU ambassador to the Eastern Caribbean.

Prominent attendees include senior representatives of The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Implementation Agency For Crime And Security (IMPACS); The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) and CCJ Academy; Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC), Regional Security System (RSS) and Security and Justice Ministries and Agencies of Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Surinam, Trinidad and Tobago. Additionally, the European Judicial Network, and the Dutch Prosecution Office will be represented at the meeting.

The programme is led by the Directorate General International Partnerships -DG-INTPA of the European Union.

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