We, the Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community, meeting in Special (Emergency) Session in The Bahamas, 11-12 October, 2001, to undertake consultations on the grave situation confronting our nations as a consequence of the terrorist attacks in the United States of America on 11 September 2001 and its aftermath:
Recognise that these dastardly acts have exacerbated an incipient global economic crisis which threatened international peace and security.
Reiterate our unequivocal condemnation of terrorism in all its forms.
Assert that no political cause or national grievance could ever justify these reprehensible attacks on a nation and on unsuspecting civilians.
Express our deepest sympathy and solidarity with the Government and people of the United States of America and with all other countries which lost nationals in the attacks, and extend condolences to their families, friends and associates.
Saddened by the significant loss of life of our own Caribbean Community nationals in the terrorist attacks and sharing in the grief of their families as they mourn their great loss.
DECLARE AS FOLLOWS:
We recognise that terrorism is a global problem requiring a concerted and resolute global response. We re-affirm our commitment to work with the international community in the multifaceted fight against terrorism in accordance with international law and conventions. Accordingly, we pledge our support for the efforts to bring to justice the perpetrators, organizers, and sponsors of these terrorist attacks. We fully support any concerted action by the international community to eliminate terrorism.
We are conscious that the unprecedented and barbaric terrorist assaults of September 11 will require of us extraordinary vigilance and co-ordination in the future, to ensure that our territories, our institutions and our citizens, are not used in any manner to facilitate the activities of terrorists or to undermine our national and regional security.
Our countries have participated actively in the deliberations held in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, at the United Nations (UN) and the Organisation of American States (OAS). We are firmly committed to fulfilling our individual and collective obligations under UN Security Council Resolution 1368 (2001) and UNSC 1373 (2001) adopted by the UN in the fight against terrorism.
To this end, the Conference has mandated a review of all relevant regional and international conventions in order to ensure the widest possible adherence to them by CARICOM governments. We will also accord the highest priority to the enhancement of existing national legislation relating to security in all its dimensions and to the enactment of new laws, as required.
We are equally committed to putting in place the necessary measures to comply with the new international regulations and standards regarding the safety of aircraft, airports and seaports.
We have mandated our security and other relevant authorities to implement with immediate effect a more comprehensive system of intelligence gathering, analysis and sharing within, and among, our Member States, for the protection and security of our borders, coastlines and airspace. An urgent review of our national and regional capacities to fulfill these tasks will be undertaken shortly and strategies proposed for their enhancement.
We are painfully aware of the disruption caused to the global economy by the events of 11 September. We are concerned that the attacks and subsequent developments have been especially devastating to our tourism, aviation, financial services and agricultural sectors, which are the major contributors to our GDP, foreign exchange earnings and to employment in the countries of our Region.
We are particularly conscious that our ongoing efforts to combat money-laundering must now take specific account of the potential for abuse of financial services industries by terrorists, their agents and supporters in all jurisdictions. We undertake, as part of our contribution to the international coalition against terrorism, to redouble our efforts to prevent the use and abuse of our financial services sectors by fully cooperating with the United Nations and the international community in the tracing and freezing of the assets of terrorists, their agents and supporters.
We support the efforts of the international and regional financial institutions to develop strategies and programmes to mitigate the economic loss experienced by countries, and look forward to the Caribbean countries participating fully and meaningfully in such strategies and programmes.
We especially commend the participation and collaboration of our private sector partners, labour, and non-governmental organisations in developing adequate responses to the current economic crisis.
The Caribbean region’s deeply entrenched respect for the rule of law, human rights, and democratic values and traditions is well known. We reaffirm our continued respect for pluralism as well as for ethnic, religious and cultural diversity within our societies and call upon the international community to redouble its efforts to promote and sustain ethnic, religious and cultural tolerance throughout the world and its commitment to the economic and social advancement of all peoples.
We, the Heads of Government, are determined to preserve for the enjoyment of all, a Caribbean which is peaceful, law abiding, economically dynamic and politically stable, safe and secure for citizens, visitors and business persons alike. Firm in our conviction that this reflects the highest aspirations of the people of our Community, we are confident that they will join wholeheartedly in the national and regional response to the challenges that confront us.