Haiti concluded the preparation of its National Action Plan (NAP) and a baseline assessment for 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’ (Caribbean Firearms Roadmap), following a series of preliminary virtual sessions and four in-person roundtables organized by the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC) over the past months.
Work on those milestone achievements culminated during the latest in-person visit by UNLIREC to Port-au-Prince, Haiti, from 12 to 14 July 2022. During the visit, UNLIREC support authorities to complete the assessment of standards and practices linked to Goal 4 of the Caribbean Firearms Roadmap, which seeks to systematically decrease the risk of diversion of firearms and ammunition from government- and non-government-owned arsenals. This includes work on the physical security and stockpile management of small arms.
Representatives of the Ministries of Justice, Interior, Foreign Affairs, Youth, Sports and Social action, the National Commission for Disarmament, Dismantlement and Reinsertion (also representing the Ministry of Defense), the Police, Customs, and the Port Authority showed great interest in the technical presentations delivered in this context and were given the opportunity to provide feedback on the national priorities identified during the overall NAP drafting process.
Work on the NAP had started earlier in 2022 and had garnered significant momentum during UNLIREC´s previous mission to Haiti in May. The final draft of the NAP is now being submitted for formal approval to the Prime Minister, after which the implementation phase of the Roadmap can begin, possibly as early as this year.
Haiti is the 12th country to complete the drafting process of a NAP which confirms States´ commitments to and priorities under the Caribbean Firearms Roadmap adopted in 2020 as a regional umbrella framework by all CARICOM States and the Dominican Republic. The Roadmap includes commitments to implement a series of Goals and actions to tackle illicit firearms trafficking and make the Caribbean a safer region.
UNLIREC´s support to Haiti is funded by the Governments of the United States and Germany and is carried out in close collaboration with the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH). In July 2022, the United Nations Security Council adopted resolution 2645 (2022) welcomed the Roadmap and requested relevant UN agencies, such as UNLIREC, to support Haitian national authorities in combating the illicit trafficking and diversion of arms and related materiel.
On 28 June 2022 in Trinidad and Tobago; and from 30 June to 1 July 2022 in Grenada, the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC) hosted Monitoring and Evaluation Roundtable meetings for the advancement of Grenada and Trinidad and Tobago’s National Action Plans and baseline assessments for the implementation of the Caribbean Firearms Roadmap.
Twenty-one national representatives from the Ministry of National Security, Ministry for Foreign and CARICOM Affairs, Trinidad and Tobago Police Force, Trinidad and Tobago Forensic Science Centre, Customs and Excise, Trinidad and Tobago Defense Force, Strategic Services Agency, Ministry of Attorney General and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Judiciary and Prisons participated in Trinidad and Tobago.
In Grenada, thirteen national representatives from the Royal Grenada Police Force, Customs and Excise Division, Her Majesty’s Prison and Grenada Airports Authority took part in the two-day event at the Coyaba Hotel.
During the sessions, the Monitoring and Evaluation Framework for the Caribbean Firearms Roadmap initiative was presented, including a review of the regional key performance indicators and national level indicators. A thorough baseline assessment was conducted under the four goals of the Caribbean Firearms Roadmap and clarity was provided on the reporting styles and timelines for submissions. Both Trinidad and Tobago and Grenada completed a significant proportion of their baseline assessments and will now finalise the assessment through a follow-up mechanism.
What is the Caribbean Firearms Roadmap?
The Caribbean Firearms Roadmap is a regional umbrella framework adopted by CARICOM States and the Dominican Republic in 2020, in which States commit themselves to implement actions against illicit firearms trafficking and make the Caribbean a safer region. To date, 16 countries in the region have formally adopted the Roadmap and begun the process of identifying their national priorities via a National Action Plan (NAP). There is commitment across the region to implement sustainable solutions to the prevention and combat of illicit proliferation of firearms and ammunition that are consistent with international norms and the Caribbean context.
This activity was made possible with funding from the Government of Canada and was carried out in line with the 2001 UN Programme of Action on Small Arms and with 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, in particular Goal 16 and target 16.4.
On 30 June 2022, sixty-six officials from eleven Caribbean States participated in the “Introduction to Shooting Incident Reconstruction Webinar” delivered by the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC). Officials from Ministries of National Security, Police Forces, Forensic Laboratories and Defence Forces participated.
The introductory webinar sought to familiarize the participants on several topics including the collection and analysis of crime scene evidence, bullet impact analysis, sequencing shots on glass and determining distance.
The high rates of armed violence as well as the proliferation of illicit firearms are major problems in the Caribbean, hence specialists in the region continue to build their capacity to deal with both issues.
The webinar contributes to the implementation of Goal 2 of the Caribbean Firearms Roadmap, “to reduce the illicit flow of firearms and ammunition into, within and beyond the region” and Goal 3, Bolster law enforcement capacity to combat illicit firearms and ammunition trafficking and their illicit possession and misuse, and ammunition, and ultimately reducing firearms-related crimes and armed violence in the Caribbean.
What is crime scene reconstruction? The reconstruction of shooting crime scenes relies upon the careful examination and processing of a scene for all pertinent physical evidence including defects and damage caused by projectiles. The observations of impact sites can provide investigators with information about the projectile, firearm, intermediate objects in the path of the projectile, direction of projectile travel, order of shots and other information. Reconstructing shooting crime scenes assists states, and their crime scene investigators, to identify, reconstruct, and document projectile flight paths (trajectories), based on established impact marks.
This activity was funded by the Government of the United States of America and contributes to the implementation of international disarmament and non-proliferation instruments, in particular, the 2001 UN Programme of Action on Small Arms.
UNLIREC, as the regional centre of the UN Office of Disarmament Affairs, seeks to advance the cause of practical disarmament in Latin America and the Caribbean as part of its commitment to support Member States.
UNLIREC, in collaboration with UNESCO, conducts webinar ‘Violence in schools: challenges and responses’
On 25 May 2022, the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC), in collaboration with UNESCO Cluster Office for the Caribbean, carried out a webinar on ‘Violence in Schools: Challenges and Responses’ for Jamaican audience. Twenty-four participants, including 18 women, from Ministry of Education and Youth, University of West Indies, Jamaican Constabulary Force, Ministry of National Security, Civil Society Organizations, UNESCO, UNICEF, and Major Organized Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency of Jamaica actively participated in the webinar.
Over the past few decades, media reports of incidents involving firearms in schools have been increasingly recurring in many countries of the region. These incidents which include both the presence and use of firearms inside schools have led to injuries and fatalities as a result of intentional and accidental gunshots. This phenomenon poses enormous challenges in ensuring safe learning spaces for children and adolescents in the region.
Against this backdrop, the webinar included a presentation from UNESCO on the impacts of violence in the region and highlighted responses that can be adopted to combat violence in schools. Meanwhile, UNLIREC presented its study on ‘Firearms in Latin America and Caribbean Schools- Approaches, Challenges and Responses’. With a focus on the Caribbean, UNLIREC presented a regional overview of armed violence in schools and shared different responses being implemented in the region to tackle the presence and use of firearms in schools.
The webinar also included an engaging panel discussion on prevalent forms of violence in schools in Jamaica and school-based intervention programmes being implemented to combat such violence. The panelists included a representative from the Ministry of Education and Youth, a professor from University of West Indies and a youth leader from Bully Proof Kids (NGO). Through this webinar, UNLIREC facilitated a national dialogue by providing an opportunity for the participants to ask questions and share experiences on violence in schools in Jamaica.
This webinar forms part of the Salient Fund project aimed at reducing violence and proliferation of illicit firearms in Jamaica.
Chilean authorities participate in the first edition of the “Course on Combating Trafficking in Arms and Ammunition (CTAM)
Chile, 16 May 2022.- From May 16 to 20, the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC) held the Course on Combating Arms Trafficking and Ammunition (CTAM) in order to prevent and combat this problem by implementing legal and practical control measures during international transfers.
One hundred and three officials from Chilean institutions in charge and other national agencies involved in combating illicit firearms trafficking participated.
The course was delivered in a hybrid mode, in other words, it had virtual and face-to-face sessions, in which UNLIREC presented the methods used for the illicit manufacture and trafficking in firearms and mechanisms for international cooperation against this crime.
Moreover, UNLIREC presented the main aspects regarding national control systems and documentation for international transfers of firearms and ammunition, as well as legal and practical measures to prevent illicit brokering which were reviewed theoretically and through a practical simulation exercise.
This course forms part of UNLIREC’s “Combatting Illicit Firearms and Ammunition trafficking in Latin America and the Caribbean” project and was carried out in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Chile. It was made possible with the financial support of Germany.
For more information on UNLIREC, visit www.unlirec.org. Please direct all questions or inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
On 15 February 2022, Haiti became the 12th State to commence concrete actions under the Caribbean Firearms Roadmap and initiated the process to establish a National Action Plan (NAP) for its implementation. Haiti adopted 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’ (Caribbean Firearms Roadmap) in 2019.
From 11 to 17 May 2022, the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC) conducted a five-day in-country mission to Port-au-Prince to advance the elaboration of the NAP. UNLIREC joined the authorities in Haiti to facilitate discussions on the steps needed to map out Haiti’s priorities, plans, and timelines for the NAP during the first segment of the mission. The mission built on UNLIREC’s technical assistance and a series of virtual interinstitutional preliminary sessions.
During the mission, representatives of the Ministries of Justice, Interior, Foreign Affairs, Youth, Sports and Social action, the National Commission for Disarmament, Dismantlement and Reinsertion (also representing the Ministry of Defense), the Police, Customs, and the Port Authority began mapping out past and current arms control initiatives in the country as well as assistance needs to combat the illicit proliferation of firearms and ammunition. A second mission planned for July 2022, is expected to conclude the work on the Action Plan.
Additionally, UNLIREC provided legal assistance to Haitian authorities during the May visit, in continuity of updating Haiti´s firearms law which began in 2020. UNLIREC´s legal experts discussed specific findings and recommendations related to the draft decree which authorities are currently reviewing, as well as how to regulate weapons and ammunition in possession of private security companies in the Latin American and Caribbean region.
The mission was funded by the Government of Germany and carried out in collaboration with the Government of Haiti and the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH), the UN Department of Peace Operations as well as the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.
UNLIREC, as the regional centre under the umbrella of the UN Office for Disarmament, seeks to advance the cause of practical disarmament in Latin America and the Caribbean and supports Member States in their implementation of international disarmament, arms control and non-proliferation instruments.