Prime Minister Drew joins CARICOM Heads of Government for Regional Symposium on “Violence as a Public Health Issue – The Crime Challenge in Trinidad & Tobago”
BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, April 16, 2023 (Press Secretary, PMO)- St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister the Hon. Dr. Terrance Drew travels from Washington, DC, on Sunday for Trinidad to attend a Regional Symposium on “Violence as a Public Health Issue – The Crime Challenge”. The two-day meeting on April 17 and 18 will take place at the Hyatt Regency in Port of Spain.
The Symposium is being hosted by the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Dr the Honourable Keith Rowley, and will be attended by other CARICOM Heads of Government.
The meeting is being held under the theme, “Violence as a Public Health Issue – The Crime Challenge’, and seeks to promote dialogue and regional action aimed at violence reduction and crime prevention.
Prime Minister Drew, also the federation’s Minister of Health and Minister of National Security will be among some seven CARICOM Heads of Government at the symposium.
Dr. Drew is CARICOM’s Lead Head on Health and will deliver remarks in that capacity on Monday 17th April 2023.
Prime Minister Drew will be accompanied by a delegation comprising Naeemah Hazelle, Permanent Secretary, Prime Minister’s Office; Cecile Hull, Permanent Secretary, National Security; Dr. Sharon Archibald, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health and Dr Patrick Martin, Adviser, Ministry of Health.
Prime Minister Rowley is Trinidad and Tobago’s Lead Head with responsibility for Crime and Security.
At the Forty-Fourth (44th) Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM held in Nassau, The Bahamas, from 15-17 February 2023, Heads of Government agreed that the Government of Trinidad and Tobago would host a special symposium to consider crime as a public health concern. This follows the decisions taken by the Heads of Government in 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022 to convene such a meeting, the plans for which were delayed by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Region’s method of addressing crime and violence from a social prevention perspective as well as a criminal justice perspective has been the traditional approach for a number of years.
The conventional approach of the criminal justice system focuses on retribution, imprisonment, rehabilitation, and restoration, with the goal of restoring harmony and reintegrating people into society. However, this has resulted in consistently escalating levels of crime and violence which have been an ongoing concern of CARICOM Heads of Government for several years.
Given CARICOM’s deep concern about the unprecedented levels of crime, Heads of Government resolved to increase focus on the determinants of crime by taking a public health approach which would first identify the causal factors and preventions where possible, followed by interventions.
The Regional Symposium will emphasize a holistic system approach, particularly a whole of Government and whole-of-society approach, involving and collaborating with all relevant agencies, organizations, and sectors at different levels, including civil society, business, community, families, and individuals.
The topics to be discussed over the two days include, Violence and Health in the Region; Crime and Violence: A Public Health Approach; Mental Health; Transnational Organised Crime; Using Litigation to Protect Gun Violence – Global Action on Gun Violence; Trans-Border Crime; Education and Youth, Domestic Violence; Economic Inequalities as the Driver of Crime and Violence; Community approaches- Restorative Justice; Sports and Mediation; and the Judicial Perspective- Legislation and Juvenile Justice Reform.
Interested persons can participate by logging on to ttt online, the Symposium website: safecaribbean.caricom.org, or via the CARICOM social media platforms.