UNLIREC trains federal forces on stockpile risk management and security planning in Argentina

On 29-30 November 2012, the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs, through its Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC) in collaboration the Ministry of Security of the Republic of Argentina trained 30 officials on firearms and ammunition stockpile management risk assessment and security planning. Officials were trained from the key federal law enforcement agencies including the Federal Police, Airport Police, National Gendarmerie and the Coast Guard.

In August 2012 UNLIREC signed an agreement with the Ministry of Security of the Republic of Argentina to provide technical assistance in the area of small arms, light weapons and ammunition stockpile management. To date, UNLIREC has supported the Ministry in undertaking baseline assessments of federal stockpile facilities and in making recommendations for essential improvements to infrastructure, standard operating procedures and the training of personnel.

The assistance that UNLIREC provides to the Government of Argentina is based on the draft UN International Small Arms Control Standards (ISACS) and the UN International Ammunition Technical Guidelines (IATG). Efforts to build government officials’ stockpile management capacities and improve infrastructure of facilities where weapons, ammunition and explosives are stored are essential measures for preventing theft, loss and diversion, as well as accidents. Such measures are key commitments taken on by States within the framework of the United Nations Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects.

For more information on UNLIREC, please visit: www.unlirec.org.

Please direct all inquiries to: Ms. Carina Van Vliet, Political Affairs Officer (vanvliet@unlirec.org).

UNLIREC and the Ecuadorian Armed Forces joined forces in the destruction of ammunition

(Quito) – As part of its commitment to promote initiatives in the area of disarmament, on December 7, the Armed Forces of Ecuador, with technical assistance from UNLIREC, destroyed 11,721 munitions decommissioned by the Army. The destruction took place in the east of Quito, in facilities provided by Santa Barbara.

Previously, the Deputy-Defense Minister, Rosa Pérez, had officially received the tank which was used in the destruction ceremony and which, according to her, “was built according to high-level technical specifications approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations and which is starting to be implemented in other countries, Ecuador being the first nation in South America to have equipment of this nature”.

The tank can destroy up to one tonne of small caliber ammunition in each session and it does not exert a negative impact on the environment whatsoever, as the waste can be recycled. The Ecuadorian authorities expressed interest in building more tanks with the same characteristics so that they can be distributed across the country, thus allowing for improved management of ammunition destruction.

Following the destruction of ammunition, a seminar on stockpile management was held at the Ministry of Defense, as part of the procedure of certification and compliance with the United Nations’ international technical rules. According to the Deputy Minister, this training “seeks to strengthen the knowledge already possessed by the Armed Forces personnel in the field of destruction of ammunition and, at the same time, generate appropriate measures that guarantee security and the proper handling of firearms, ammunition and explosives in Ecuador”.

The Canadian ambassador in Ecuador, Andrew Shisko, emphasized that “this course is an example of the importance of security for the region”. The training provided by the Government and UNLIREC contributes to the “improvement of the security of all citizens of Ecuador”. The Andean Project advisor of UNLIREC’s Public Security Programme, Camilo Duplat, stated that “the destruction of stockpiles is essential to prevent seized weapons, ammunition and explosives from being diverted into illegal activities. It is a means of contributing to the destruction of surplus weapons and to the prevention of accidents”. These activities form part of UNLIREC’s comprehensive assistance package to the States of the Andean Community, with the support of the Government of Canada.