NEW YORK – St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas has called on the United Nations to re-open its office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in the Caribbean as the region sought to deal with an upsurge in criminal activities linked to a number of factors including the illegal drugs trade.
Addressing the 64th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, Prime Minister Douglas also called on the World Body to join St. Kitts and Nevis and the Caribbean in tabling a resolution in support of an integrated approach and multi-sectoral response to violence prevention.
Dr. Douglas said that the re-opening the regional office, which was closed a few years ago, would signal the spirit of developing an effective multilateral approach to crime and violence.
St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas addressing the 64th General Assembly of the United Nations in New York on Saturday.
He said that the issue of security continues to be prominent on the international agenda and the global anti-crime campaign intensifies, as concern heightens in the face of emerging threats to the citizenry as well as the society.
Dr. Douglas in his 26 minute address said that this development results from the new wave of crime and violence, especially among the youth population.
“In the hemisphere there is increased focus on human security in relation to the transnational nature of those categories of crime that are linked to anti-social behaviours among our youths,” said the St. Kitts and Nevis leader who noted that the emerging trend in the analysis of crime, globally, points to a new variable.
“Studies show that in increasing numbers, victims and perpetrators of crime are young men. The reality of coexisting in a global village, the prevalence and sophistication of modern technology, enhanced communication infrastructure, and the free movement of capital and people have given rise to unprecedented escalation in crime and violence,” Dr. Douglas told the world body.
“Youth alienation, youth rage, and youth brutality are troubling global phenomena in urgent need of global analysis and action. And so, this moment demands that this body, with its unique capacities and capabilities, and in our quest for international societal stability, marshal all available resources to better identify the underlying causative factors, and to come to clear agreement as to how, individually and collectively, we halt and reverse this destabilizing trajectory,” said Prime Minister Douglas.
Violence he noted had become a multi-sectoral public policy challenge impinging on several areas including public security, governance, development and public health.
“The human, social and financial costs of violence are unacceptably high. In addition to physical injury and death, violence has a serious and life-long impact on mental and physical health, including non-communicable diseases and HIV/AIDS, and damages the social fabric leading to unsafe communities,” said Prime Minister Douglas, who warned that ultimately, violence slows economic and social development in those countries which can least afford it.
“However, scientific evidence amassed over the last years clearly demonstrates that violence and its consequences can be successfully prevented. But, at present an integrated approach to violence prevention is lacking.”
Prime Minister Douglas also told the General Assembly that an attempt to define a Caribbean response to the problem was made at a recent two-day regional symposium held in St. Kitts and Nevis last June and called on the World Body “to join us in tabling a resolution in support of an integrated approach and multi-sectoral response to violence prevention.
“This we would wish to place on the agenda of the 65th Session of the General Assembly,” he added.