The United Nations Office for Disarmament Affair’s Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC), with the financial support of the US Department of State’s Office for Weapons Removal and Abatement, has procured and delivered to the Government of the Bahamas a set of hydraulic shears to ensure that the Government has a permanent technical and human resource capacity to destroy surplus, obsolete and confiscated firearms.
Delivery of the shears forms part of UNLIREC´s Firearms Destruction and Stockpile Management Assistance Package for Caribbean States, which aims at combating illicit arms trafficking by reducing the risk of theft and diversion from government holdings of operational, confiscated, surplus and obsolete firearms, ammunition and explosives. Under the Assistance Package, UNLIREC has already undertaken a national baseline assessment and provided 40 international standard padlocks to enhance levels of storage and security at key government stockpiles. The padlocks have been installed in stockpile facilities throughout the country.
The shears were delivered to the Royal Bahamas Police Force for installation. On 14 May 2012, UNLIREC provided training on use of the shears to 16 officers from the Royal Bahamas Police Force, Royal Bahamas Defence Force, Her Majesty's Prisons, Bahamas Customs and Bahamas Immigration which resulted in the symbolic destruction of 42 weapons.
Further, UNLIREC’s assistance to the Government of the Commonwealth of Bahamas and all other Caribbean beneficiary countries under the Assistance Package for the June 2012 – May 2013 period include, inter alia:
- development of independent weapons monitoring and verification methodologies;
- establishment of safe and efficient methods for destruction and disposal of weapons, ammunitions and explosives based on UN standards; and
- legal review of national firearms legislation and regulations in the Caribbean to ensure State compliance with key international instruments.