Canada’s Global Affairs’ Anti-Crime Capacity Building Program (ACCBP) provided a 2-million-dollar grant at the beginning of 2021 to the UN Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC) to support Caribbean States in their implementation of the ‘Roadmap for Implementing the Caribbean Priority Actions on the Illicit Proliferation of Firearms and Ammunition across the Caribbean in a Sustainable Manner by 2030’. Through this initiative, Canada is strengthening regional cooperation to build a stronger more resilient region, as well as safeguarding the security of Canadians and Canadian interests at risk, both at home and abroad.
The Roadmap – under which the Canadian-funded project will be carried out – is made up of four Goals: (1) reinforcing regulatory frameworks; (2) reducing the illicit flow of firearms and ammunition; (3) bolstering law enforcement capacity; and (4) decreasing the risk of diversion of firearms and ammunition. The main technical implementing partners are UNLIREC and CARICOM IMPACS.
The over 30 Canadian-funded project activities range from specialized courses for law enforcement officials on detecting arms and ammunition illegally entering or exiting their countries to how to conduct the ‘gendered’ investigation of crimes against women. To complement these capacity-building initiatives, UNLIREC will also deliver operational tracing courses; trainings on how best to manage firearms and ammunition being stored as evidence at ballistic laboratory depots; and a region-wide technical armoury management workshop at project end.
Efforts to make the Caribbean region a safer one – through implementation of the Roadmap – is being supported by other members of the international donor community, in addition to Canada,
including the Federal Republic of Germany, The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the United States of America. This multiple-donor funding to UNLIREC will allow for a strategic division of labour on the ground and avoid any duplication of funding.
Since 2010, Canada has contributed more than 10 million Canadian dollars to UNLIREC in addressing the scourge of illicit arms and ammunition trafficking in a sub-region that suffers inordinately from the catastrophic impact of armed violence.
UNLIREC forms part of the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) in NY, USA, and is mandated to support 33 States in Latin America and the Caribbean in achieving and maintaining peace and security through disarmament. For more information on the Caribbean Firearms Roadmap, please contact, Ms Amanda Cowl, Political Affairs Officer, at [firstname.lastname@example.org].