Most experts are of the view that the guns and ammunition being used in the country are being sourced from the United States, thus National Security officials in Basseterre have again called on the US Government to do much more to stop this illegal trade into Caribbean states like St. Kitts & Nevis.
The Prime Minister of St. Kitts & Nevis, Dr. Denzil Douglas has indicated that though the US has provided some assistance in the area of National Security, the “continuing flow of foreign-made small arms into the Caribbean region is of great concern.” The US has been reminded that more needs to be done to stamp out the illegal small arms trade in the Caribbean.
“Again, originating beyond our shores, these weapons have dire consequences both in terms of human life as well as the economic stability of our nations. We are aware that changing cultural values are influencing the use of weapons by some in our nations. And we understand the importance of focused and effective policing andpartnership on matters of security,” said Prime Minister Douglas.
Dr. Douglas urged the international community and those members of the United Nations specifically, to see as an absolute priority, the production of a much-needed and long-overdue Arms Trade Treaty.
“The interests of democratic nations everywhere cry out for the establishment of international standards and controls governing the illicit flow of conventional weapons, and I urge the establishment of a dedicated secretariat to assist State Parties in this regard,” said Dr. Douglas.
Pointing to what he termed the misfortune of Caribbean nations located between regions of massive drug production and regions of massive drug consumption, the St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister said small arms and light weapons always follow illegal drugs and “we in the Caribbean are simply not equipped to deal with the externally created crime fallout.”
“And on that point, I wish to stress that before its closure, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime provided critical hands-on collaboration in this high-priority area of crime fighting. With its presence now having been withdrawn, the vital support that we need simply is not there, leaving us to adjust as best we can – at precisely the time when drug and deportee-related crimes, continue to be a major hemispheric challenge,” said Prime Minister Douglas to World Leaders.