On 5-6 April 2018, UNLIREC undertook a Sub-regional Seminar on “Progress and Challenges in Private Security Regulation and Oversight in Central America and the Dominican Republic”, held in San José, Costa Rica. This Seminar served as a forum for member countries of the Central American Integration System (SICA) to discuss issues of good governance and oversight in the private security sector.

This Seminar was attended by authorities and technical personnel from regulatory agencies responsible for private security in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama and the Dominican Republic; representatives of SICA’s Secretary General and the Commission of Police Chiefs and Directors of Central America, Mexico, the Caribbean and Colombia. Representatives of the private security sector and civil society organizations were also present.

The participants engaged in an open and fruitful discussion, sharing information regarding their respective countries, as well as the progress and challenges witnessed in the regulation of private security services. They also proposed regulations, international standards and good guiding practices that promote effective governance and arms control in that sector so as to contribute to the enhancement of the public security efforts made by States both nationally and regionally.

During the seminar, participants acknowledged the need to address private security challenges – particularly arms and ammunition control in the sector – within existing sub-regional integration and cooperation mechanisms.

This Seminar was developed within the framework of the project entitled “Strengthening Oversight and Building Capacities for Small Arms Control and Nonproliferation in the Private Security Sector.” The United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC) launched this project in collaboration with the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF) and with the financial support of the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany.