Goal One: Protecting the Security of Barbados and its People

Security underpinned Barbados’ social and economic goals, with  peace and order being necessary for good trade and economic connections to the global economy.

Between 2000 and 2013, however, transnational crime in the form of the trafficking of illegal drugs, people and small arms and the laundering of money; climate change and other environment-degrading activities; terrorism; the spread of weapons of mass destruction; pandemics, non-communicable diseases, and persistent poverty and inequity were identified as major threats to international security and, by extension, the security of Barbados itself.  These threats, particularly transnational crime, climate change and pandemics, were of major concern to the foreign policy makers of Barbados.  Furthermore, the trans-boundary scope of the threats underscored the inability of any unilateral efforts on the part of Barbados to guarantee its security.

Some of the critical considerations associated with this goal and which informed the elaboration of its specific objectives were: the incapacity of Barbados, on its own, to protect its terrestrial and marine space and people from the global threats; the causes and impact of global environmental degradation and the responsibility and means for securing the improvement of the global environment; and the implications of poverty and inequity for global peace and order.

The key understandings that emerged from those considerations were that:

  • A military attack against Barbados by another state was extremely remote
  • The very limited capacity to militarily protect its territorial and marine space on its own predisposed it to joining forces with various partners.
  • Climate change, in the form of the warming of the earth’s surface, was occurring mainly as a result of increasing greenhouse gases emitted as a result of human activity and the consequences for Barbados were very unfavourable – rising sea levels, severe hurricanes, coastal erosion and a danger to its coastal economy.
  • The industrialised countries had an overwhelming responsibility to help realise an improvement in the global environmental condition by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and providing finance to assist in meeting the cost of the climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts and initiatives of developing countries
  • The multilateral efforts to reduce poverty and inequity should be more sincere and robust
  • The threats of transnational crime, environmental degradation, terrorism, pandemics, the spread of weapons of mass destruction and poverty and inequity could only be effectively dealt with through partnerships at the regional and multilateral levels.
  • Barbados should dedicate itself to the task of working diligently at the regional, hemispheric and multilateral levels to contribute to the global objective of effectively combating these threats.
  • A rules-based international system supported Barbados’ security