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Multisectoral approach needed to curb crime and violence

– AEC Bishops to CARICOM

The Bishops of the Antilles Episcopal Conference (AEC) have issued a statement on Crime and Violence in the Caribbean in response to the CARICOM Heads of Government Regional Symposium held April to address Crime and Violence as a Public Health issue.

This statement emerged following the AEC Bishops 67th Annual Plenary Meeting held in Aruba April 23–28. Archbishop Charles Jason Gordon now serves as AEC President.

In it, the AEC bishops say the perspective of and call for all leaders to come together to face “this most dangerous” social crisis is “heartening” and “encouraging”.

While the Bishops applaud the Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) for their meeting and declaration on Crime and Violence as a Public Health issue, they now ask their governments, in each nation, to initiate a multisector team with Government, Opposition, Trade Union, Business and religious leaders, all civil society, “to move the declaration into action”.

This team, the statement said, should facilitate and engage in a series of conversations in the communities where there is the greatest vulnerability to begin understanding the complexity of the issues and thus charting meaningful solutions to all forms of violence.

The AEC bishops declare they are ready to work with all leaders of society to renew their Caribbean peoples, to form consciences and work tirelessly to build character and values through all Church institutions.

In the statement, the AEC bishops vow to continue praying that Almighty God will give them both the inspiration and the courage to face this most difficult challenge and to do what is necessary to transform their nations for the sake of the present and future generations.