On 4, 7 and 8 September 2023, the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC) hosted three regional Monitoring, Evaluation & Reporting webinars. These followed a previous webinar held on 27 March 2023, and precede the upcoming Annual Meeting of States of the Caribbean Firearms Roadmap, scheduled for 14-15 November 2023 in Saint Lucia.
Following welcoming remarks from representatives of UNLIREC and CARICOM IMPACS as co-custodians of the Caribbean Firearms Roadmap, the webinars highlighted the commitment by the Caribbean Firearms Roadmap States to combat illicit trafficking, forge partnerships and strengthen regional capacities. . Participants were updated on progress and developments to date in order to provide participants a comprehensive overview of ongoing efforts in the region. In addition, Filoi, who developed the Roadmap Reporting Platform. provided a hands-on demonstration of its functionality, ensuring that attendees gained practical insights into its effective use.
The primary focus of this webinar was to enhance understanding of the Roadmap Reporting Platform and engage relevant Caribbean Firearms Roadmap Focal Points.
Towards the Annual Meeting of States
This November, the Annual Meeting of States of the Caribbean Firearms Roadmap will bring together Ministers from the region to discuss implementation of said Roadmap, identify additional priorities, challenges and assistance needs. In that regard, the work of National Focal Points towards monitoring and evaluation is crucial to the success of the Annual Meeting.
These M&E webinars are aligned with the UN Programme of Action on Small Arms and 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, in particular Goal 16 “Peace, justice and strong institutions”, and were made possible with funding from the Government of Germany.
Learn more about the Caribbean Firearms Roadmap here.
From 21 to 25 August, twenty-nine officials from thirteen Caribbean countries will participate in the 2nd Regional Armoury Management Course delivered by the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC) in collaboration with the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.
The specialized course aims to supplement the manufacturer-based training received by Caribbean based Armourers and equip them with the knowledge, skills and abilities for small arms ammunition control and management; as well as general stockpile management training designed to prevent loss, theft, and diversion.
Representatives from law enforcement and military agencies from Antigua & Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St Kitts & Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent & the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad & Tobago (Customs & Excise Division, Trinidad & Tobago Prison Service and Trinidad & Tobago Police Service) are participating in this course. The training is taking place at the Police Academy in St. James, Port of Spain.
The Armoury Management Course forms part of the technical assistance provided by UNLIREC within the “Support in the Implementation of the Caribbean Firearms Roadmap Project” funded by the Government of Canada and is developed in line with 2001 UN Programme of Action on Small Arms, the Arms Trade Treaty and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It also contributes towards regional efforts to prevent the illicit trafficking of firearms and ammunition, thereby reducing firearms-related crimes and armed violence in the Caribbean The course further supports Goal 4 of the Caribbean Firearms Roadmap which aims to systematically decrease the risk of diversion of firearms and ammunition from government- and non-government-owned arsenals and to ensure safe and secure firearms and ammunition storage facilities and management practices in accordance with international guidelines.
Barbados moves forward with implementation of the Caribbean Firearms Roadmap
From 27-28 July, as part of the Caribbean Firearms Roadmap initiative, Barbados participated in a Roundtable Meeting on the Caribbean Firearms Roadmap and technical assessments of state armouries, carried out by the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC).
During the roundtable, government representatives from Barbados met with UNLIREC to follow up on the drafting of the National Action Plan (NAP) for the advancement of the Caribbean Firearms Roadmap and discussed the substantive progress made in the development of Barbados’ NAP.
As part of the assistance, UNLIREC´s Team also reviewed the weapons and ammunition management practices implemented at the state facilities in Barbados. This activity aims to strengthen the physical security and stockpile management practices in Barbados, to ultimately prevent diversion of weapons and ammunition from government arsenals to the illicit market. The assessment was conducted in accordance with international guidelines including the United Nations Modular Small-arms-control Implementation Compendium (MOSAIC) and the International Ammunition Technical Guidelines (IATG).
UNLIREC, as the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs’ regional centre, seeks to advance the cause of practical disarmament in Latin America and the Caribbean as part of its commitment to support Member States in their implementation of international disarmament and non-proliferation instruments, in particular, the 2001 UN Programme of Action on Small Arms. This assistance was made possible with the generous financial support of the governments of the United States of America and Canada.
From 18 to 21 July 2023, officials from the Firearm Licensing Authority, the Department of Correctional Services, the Institute of Forensic Science and Legal Medicine, the Jamaica Constabulary Force, the Jamaica Defence Force, the Ministry of National Security, and the Jamaica Customs Agency participated in the virtual Physical Security and Stockpile Management (PSSM) Training Workshop. This workshop sought to strengthen State capacities to reinforce national mechanisms to reduce and prevent the diversion of conventional weapons and ammunition and improve law enforcement capacity to secure stockpile facilities.
As a result of this workshop, 23 national officers are now more knowledgeable on international standards and best practices in physical security and stockpile management, marking and recordkeeping. The presentations addressed the relevance of national mechanisms and measures to reduce and prevent the diversion of firearms and ammunition from national stockpiles.
The PSSM Training Workshop forms part of the technical assistance provided by the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC) in the framework of the “Preventing Diversion of Conventional Arms and Ammunition in the Caribbean” project, funded by the United States of America.
This course also contributes to Goal 4 of the Caribbean Firearms Roadmap which sets out to “Systematically decrease the risk of diversion of firearms and ammunition from government- and non-government-owned arsenals”, and supports regional efforts to prevent illicit trafficking in firearms and ammunition and armed violence in the Caribbean.
July 2023. The CARICOM Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS) and The United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC), continue to coordinate organizational efforts under the Caribbean Firearms Roadmap to Prevent the Illicit Trafficking and Proliferation of Arms and Ammunition.
Regular meetings are held amongst partner agencies to align efforts, develop coordinated strategies and share lessons learned in relation to the implementation of the Caribbean Firearms Roadmap. Roadmap Partner agencies include the Organization of American States (OAS), the World Customs Organization (WCO), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), INTERPOL and the Small Arms Survey.
At the most recent partner meeting held on 10 July, CARICOM IMPACS formally launched a partner coordination platform which was developed using in-house expertise. This platform was developed to address the need for an established repository of information and allows various partner agencies to input activities as well as outline intended outcomes. This will ensure a complementary strategy in achieving the targets set out as priorities by Caribbean countries.
The Caribbean Firearms Roadmap was adopted in July 2020 by 15 Caribbean States and the Dominican Republic with a view to making the region safer by addressing the illicit proliferation of firearms and ammunition. International partners have since supported Caribbean States through the provision of expertise and best practices towards the adoption of sustainable solutions, consistent with international norms and the Caribbean context, to control, eradicate, prevent, and prosecute the illicit possession, proliferation and misuse of firearms and ammunition.
These meetings and the newly launched platform are both mechanisms that support progress towards achieving the goals of the Caribbean Firearms Roadmap. This process has shown itself to be essential in the integrated regional strategy for a safer Caribbean by preventing and combatting armed violence and the illicit proliferation of weapons.
June 2023. The Department of Public Security of the Organization of American States (DPS/OAS) and the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC) have initiated the development process of the Central American Road Map to Prevent the Illicit Trafficking and Proliferation of Arms and Ammunition. Based on this initiative, Central American States will establish shared priorities, objectives and actions aimed at increasing the effectiveness of actions to tackle these issues.
In October 2022, the OAS General Assembly requested the DSP/OAS, in collaboration with UNLIREC, to develop a proposal for a Central American Road Map to promote coordinated strategies in preventing and combating the illicit trafficking and proliferation of arms and ammunition. With the financial support from the European Union, both OAS and UNLIREC will be pursuing the development of this sub-regional initiative, which will be integrated into the Central American Security Strategy (ESCA).
For the development process of the Road Map, a series of national and sub-regional meetings are planned with Central American countries and the Dominican Republic. The Road Map process initiated with a series of inter-institutional meetings at the national level addressed to representatives of different State entities with responsibilities in arms control and combatting its illicit trafficking.
During these meetings, both OAS and UNLIREC briefed the authorities on the background, objectives, scope, methodological aspects and next steps for the development of the Road Map. Participating entities learnt also about existing sub-regional road maps and action plans in the Caribbean, the Western Balkans and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) region. In turn, national authorities shared their expectations, needs and priorities on this topic and emphasized the importance of advancing on such initiative, taking into account the transnational nature of illicit firearms trafficking, which requires coordinated strategies at both national and sub-regional levels.
These first meetings mark the beginning of the consultation and development process of the Central American Road Map to Prevent the Illicit Trafficking and Proliferation of Arms and Ammunition. This process will have the technical accompaniment of the DSP/OAS and UNLIREC, with the financial support of the European Union.