CARICOM Secretary General says cost of crime and violence too high
GEORGETOWN, Guyana – The social, psychological and economic cost of crime and violence in the region is too high, Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Ambassador Irwin LaRocque says, and the impact – particularly on youth – needs to be addressed.
He made the observation and plea at the opening of the 29th Meeting of the Council for Human and Social Development (COHSOD) (Youth and Culture) at CARICOM headquarters yesterday.
LaRocque said even though it was a minority of youth in the region who had fallen victim to a life of crime, it was an important group that urgently needed to be assisted.
He said that the just-concluded Regional Forum on Youth Crime and Violence was intended to do just that, and participants explored mechanisms for greater collaboration among relevant institutions and development partners, and shared good practices in implementing sustainable measures to prevent youth crime and violence.
The CARICOM Secretary-General said he had seen and heard exceptional young people all over the region who were committed and passionate and were contributing in meaningful ways to national development and regional integration.
“I have been truly inspired on many, many occasions and pay tribute today to all those outstanding young people across our Community,” he said.
The theme of the COHSOD meeting is ‘Leveraging CARICOM’s Human and Cultural Assets for the Development of the Community’. LaRocque said it spoke pointedly to the tremendous opportunity for CARICOM to develop its youth and cultural assets.
He said that the CARICOM Heads of Government reflected on this theme at their 26th Inter-Sessional Meeting in the Bahamas last year, and observed that a strategy that combined the cultural and sporting assets with the region’s innovative youthful human resource, and with new technologies, would open up opportunities for a new and sustainable development pathway that leveraged the Community’s strengths.
Photo: CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin Larocque addresses the opening ceremony of the 29th Meeting of the Council for Human and Social Development. At left is CARICOM assistant secretary-general, human and social development, Dr. Douglas Slater.