Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago – Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of The
Bahamas, Hon. Philip Davis, KC, MP, delivered the opening remarks at the Regional Symposium to Address Crime and Violence as a Public Health Issue, held in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. The Prime Minister emphasized the urgency of addressing the escalating rates of violence in the Caribbean region and called for a collective response from member states.
In his speech, Prime Minister Philip Davis highlighted the necessity of mobilizing resources with determination to combat violence, treating it as a life-threatening epidemic.
He emphasized the importance of regional and interagency cooperation to address the multifaceted issue of violence, which intersects with numerous other challenges in the Caribbean countries.
The Prime Minister stressed the need to dedicate resources for better understanding crime at the community level and developing more responsive interventions, as well as addressing the social and economic causes of violence. He also called on the US government and gun manufacturers to cooperate with CARICOM member states in identifying weapons purchased in the US and holding weapons dealers and traffickers accountable for the many lives lost to gun violence each year.
Furthermore, Prime Minister Davis underscored the importance of more frequent collaborative operations to meaningfully impact the flow of illegal drugs and guns across regional borders.
In addition, the Prime Minister brought attention to the importance of supporting at-risk populations, particularly young men, through targeted interventions and programs to prevent them from falling into a life of crime. He highlighted the crucial role of parents, educators, social workers, and other community members in ensuring the wellbeing of vulnerable individuals and breaking the cycle of violence.
Prime Minister Davis also emphasized the responsibility of CARICOM countries to support
Haiti in its ongoing humanitarian crisis and its implications for regional stability. He urged member states to work collaboratively to assist the Haitian people in stabilizing their situation.
The Prime Minister expressed hope that the discussions initiated at the symposium would
lead to the development of impactful interventions and solutions while emphasizing the importance of facing the crisis head-on and leveraging the unique resources and expertise
of each member state to create a brighter future for the Caribbean region.
Under the theme “Violence as a Public Health Issue – The Crime Challenge,” the symposium aims to bring together regional leaders, experts, and stakeholders to address the epidemic of crime and violence in the Caribbean. The event is set to generate headlines as CARICOM countries unite to develop a comprehensive strategy for combating crime and violence, emphasizing collaboration, innovation, and shared responsibility.