An Assessment of the Role of the Organization of American States (OAS) in Promoting Multidimensional Security in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM): 2002 - 2017


  • Anthony W J Phillips-Spencer


The role played by the Organization of American States (OAS) as midwife and matron for the promotion of a multidimensional approach to security in the Americas, has been substantially inspired by the effective advocacy of the small states of the Caribbean. Adopted fully in 2002, in the context of hemispheric security, amidst a broader process of conceptualizing global post-Cold War security relations, multidimensional security cooperation between the OAS and the member states of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) is first reviewed in this paper, in terms of its origins and outcomes, and then, explored for its opportunities and outlook. This analysis offers diverse perspectives: extra-regional, intra-regional and institutional/organizational. Extra-regional partners remain committed but concerned. In spite of significant milestone achievements, vulnerabilities, deficiencies, and incapacities persist intra-regionally, which require improved policy governance, strategic guidance, and, operational performance. Finally, the OAS needs to be more integrative and inclusive, in order to sustain the value and volume of its assistance to the CARICOM region amidst severe resource constraints.

Author Biography

Anthony W J Phillips-Spencer

Brigadier General (Retired), Former Vice Chief of Defence Staff, Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force