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(CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana) The United States has renewed its commitment to strengthen security structures within the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) such as the CARICOM Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS).

This commitment came in a Joint Statement issued following the Second Caribbean-United States Security Cooperation Dialogue held last Thursday 10 November in Nassau, The Bahamas.

The parties in pledging to work in the spirit of partnership and mutual respect, also agreed to improve ties between the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Dominican Republic to promote more effectively regional and international coordination in addressing the security challenges the Caribbean faced.

They agreed on a raft of other measures that would boost security in the Caribean Region, including the need to adopt policy and legislative reforms to implement information sharing mechanisms on a region-wide basis. The sharing of radar and sensor data for the purpose of detecting, monitoring, and interdicting illicit activities in the Caribbean, and law enforcement information such as fingerprint and ballistics data were specified in this aspect of the strengthened security cooperation.

The parties pledged to develop a common strategy and standard operating procedures such as those provided in the Caribbean Regional Maritime Agreement and the CARICOM Maritime and Airspace Security Cooperation Agreement to allow for coordination of maritime interdiction efforts between and among Caribbean countries and institutions, such as the Regional Security System (RSS).

Efforts to developed a sustained approach to citizen safety in the Caribbean were agreed, through a pledge to reinforce budgetary measures to meet recurring security costs.

The parties also committed to adopt a coordinated approach for engaging development partners in the implementation of social development and crime prevention initiatives; to establish a regional repository of best practices in the areas of crime prevention and social justice to facilitate networking, policy development, and programming; and to develop a regional juvenile justice policy and harmonised legislation promoting community intervention and alternatives to sentencing and incarceration.

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