UN Resident Coordinator
1 July 2019
Remarks at the Launch of the Course on Crime Victimization Surveys 2019 in Barbados
Speech by Didier Trebucq, UN Resident Coordinator at UN House, Barbados
Thank you for joining us today at the launch of the Barbados Crime Victimization Surveys which is a joint initiative between the United States Government and the United Nations Development Program with the support of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.
Most people when they think of the Caribbean conjure up images of white sandy beaches and crystal blue waters that are associated with this part of the world. Unfortunately, as we all know, crime knows no geographical boundaries and Small Island Developing States like Barbados do not escape unscathed from the effects of criminal activities.
Four years ago, countries adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals; one of which includes the 16th goal focused on Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions. The achievement of this goal is critical at the global level, as crime and violence result in insufficient citizen security which should neither be allowed to hinder sustainable development nor affect the ability of people to live full and productive lives. In Barbados and the wider Caribbean, where tourism and Foreign Direct Investment are essential pathways for economic growth, we believe that strengthening the governments’ ability to address this scourge is of paramount importance.
I am therefore quite pleased that the Government of Barbados is of the same view. Very recently I had the honour of sitting with the Attorney General to discuss some of the prevailing challenges regarding legislation, mechanisms to address major organized crimes and the potential role that the UN can play in this area. We will continue to move forward as one UN to assist the government in any way we can.
Effective partnerships across all stakeholders are necessary to transform and strengthen the impact of the SDGs. Hence, the US Government’s role as a leading financial partner in the Caribbean that is actively addressing citizen security issues must be commended. As Paolo just mentioned, the CariSECURE project has been strengthening the capacity of regional and national institutions to collect, analyze and use citizen security data to develop evidence-based policies and programs.
Projects and partnerships of this nature go a long way to creating a safe, cohesive and just Caribbean which is one of the priority areas for the UN. Of course, crime is not an isolated activity as it has far reaching consequences that negatively affect women, youth, children and other vulnerable groups. When all 193 United Nations Member States adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, they made a pledge to ensure ‘no one will be left behind’ and to ‘endeavour to reach the furthest behind first.’ This is a huge assignment but one that we have committed to.
Therefore, it is my distinct pleasure to see all of you today as you have been recruited to this noble cause. The Crime Victimization Surveys course that we launch here today will focus on sensitizing all of you to the content and process surrounding the effective execution of the surveys, which are designed to better understand the crime and violence experience of Barbadian citizens.
We look forward to enhanced quality and integrity of national crime data, and thus, the advancement of government’s ability to incorporate crime data analysis to improve crime prevention strategies.
To my colleagues at the UNDP, thank you for your exemplary leadership in the execution of the CariSECURE project and by extension the CVS and to the UNODC, your expertise in providing Technical Assistance to this process is deeply appreciated. Within the UN Development System, we are multiple agencies with diverse mandates but where possible, like today, when there is convergence on issues we must continue to collaborate so that we can enhance results. Indeed, as the UN has begun its reform process, this will enable us to be a more cohesive, collective, accountable and effective partner that responds to national needs.
In closing, I wish to thank the Government of Barbados, the US Government and our UN colleagues for your collaborations here today. I wish all of you a productive and engaging workshop.
UN agencies involved in this initiative
United Nations Development Programme
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime