In the Caribbean, the Department of Political Affairs (DPA) works primarily at the regional level in support of the efforts of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) to address issues of concern to governments and peoples of the region. DPA has a collaborative working relationship with the political arm of CARICOM – the Directorate for Foreign and Community Relations (FCR). An important focus of this relationship is UN-CARICOM cooperation, and the bi-annual high-level meetings between the two organizations.
These meetings have most recently addressed key regional issues such as sustainable development and climate change, specific challenges faced by Small Island Developing States (SIDS), as well as citizen security and organized crime, which are linked to the transnational illicit trade in drugs and small arms. The latest meeting, the Seventh General Meeting between the United Nations system and the Caribbean Community and its associated institutions, was held at United Nations Headquarters in New York on 22-23 July 2013.
DPA continues to strengthen its partnership with CARICOM's FCR on strategic and policy-related matters of importance to both organizations. As a follow-up to the Sixth General Meeting, in July 2012, DPA organized for the first time a "desk-to-desk" dialogue, whereby an FCR delegation travelled to UN Headquarters in New York and held working sessions with counterparts from 12 different UN offices that are relevant to CARICOM’s work.
DPA also provides country-specific assistance in a number of instances: