Media Center

Press Release


  October 30, 2007

The impact of crime and insecurity in some countries of the Caribbean is posing significant social and economic challenges which must be addressed through greater cooperation and partnerships at a regional and international level, said the Assistant Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Albert R. Ramdin.

Speaking today at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars at a conference on “Crime, Violence and Security in the CARICOM: Creating Community in the Caribbean,” Ambassador Ramdin highlighted the most challenging causes at the core of the problem including drug trafficking, the emergence of terror networks, and the linkages between criminal gangs and terrorists.

Ramdin explained that the illegal activities of these criminal organizations are conducive to the high rates of crime and violence in the Caribbean which “are undermining growth, threatening human welfare and impeding social development.” The Assistant Secretary General underscored the need for a “coordinated regional and international response that transcends national and regional boundaries,” and reiterated the Organization’s commitment and efforts to strengthening hemispheric security.

“For the OAS, building peaceful societies and prosperous economies is of critical importance. Security challenges are clearly counterproductive to these objectives,” he said. Assistant Secretary General Ramdin highlighted some of the mechanisms and agreements established to achieve this goal including the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD), the Inter-American Convention against the Illicit Manufacture of Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and Other Related Materials (CIFTA), and the Inter-American Committee on Terrorism (CICTE), among others.

“Multidimensional security threats require multidimensional, multidisciplinary and innovative responses. I firmly believe that a holistic, integrated approach to security and crime prevention must address development, good governance and the rule of law, as well as crime prevention.” Ramdin drew attention to the need for governments to invest more in economic, social, education and prevention policies that can help to combat the challenges of drugs, guns, and gangs, citing for example poverty eradication and youth programs. He also noted the need for strengthening law enforcement through increased training and technical assistance, and called for greater cooperation in intelligence sharing among Member States.

Ramdin emphasized that “the OAS is on the right track,” adding that “by leveraging the strengths of Member States to work together in developing their capacity, we are building a mechanism for sustainable security. The key to our success in combating security challenges will be to reconcile the relationship between security and development, and to move forward with an integrated, multidimensional approach that emphasizes greater cooperation and partnership to confront challenges.”

Reference: E-272/07