Youth violence has reached epidemic levels in the Caribbean, a top official from Saint Kitts and Nevis said today, urging United Nations agencies to help the region’s countries curtail the growing problem.
Sam Condor, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of the island nation, stressed in an address to the General Assembly’s annual general debate that overcoming youth violence requires a multi-pronged approach that includes security, health and development.
He noted that the proliferation of small arms and light weapons in the Caribbean was helping to fuel the problem, and called for a global arms trade treaty to curb the high volume of weapons in circulation.
But he added that the violence was also symptomatic of deeper community and social issues in the countries of the region.
Members of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) have begun to strategize together, Mr. Condor noted, but there is also “a role for relevant UN agencies in supporting our efforts at reversing” the violent trend.
He said his Government would begin by working more closely with the UN World Health Organization (WHO), the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and other agencies with the world body.