Over 40 officials from Dominican Republic enhance skills in combating illicit trafficking of small arms and ammunitions

Over 40 officials from Dominican Republic enhance skills in combating illicit trafficking of small arms and ammunitions

From 18 to 22 July 2022, 47 representatives from various areas and sectors involved in arms control and combatting small arms trafficking in the Dominican Republic participated in the Course on Combating Trafficking in Arms and Ammunition (CTAM), organised by the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC) in a hybrid format.

The course provided national authorities with theoretical knowledge and technical tools to implement strategies seeking to prevent and combat the illicit trafficking of firearms and their ammunitions in line with international arms control instruments.

Representatives from the Interior and Police, Defence, Intelligence, Customs, the Attorney’s Office, the Ministry of International Affairs, Specialised Land Border Security Corps (CESFRONT), Body specialising in Airport Security and Civil Aviation (CESAC), the Dominican Postal Institute, among other institutions, participated and shared their experiences and challenges in addressing this problem.

The course included presentations by the Directorate General of Customs and CESFRONT, the Global Programme against Maritime Crime of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), and the Directorate for Democratic Security of the Central American Integration System (SICA).

For the Dominican Republic, as well as for other countries in the region, the illicit trafficking of firearms and ammunition poses a major threat to national and regional security. As a result, UNLIREC has developed the CTAM course for States in the region. It has been designed to strengthen State´s capacities in the fight against this transnational crime and also provides a space for interinstitutional exchanges, including on best practices, as well as for the development of international cooperation, which is essential in the fight against this crime.

UNLIREC supports the implementation of international commitments acquired by the Dominican Republic in the field of arms control.

The course CTAM was delivered in cooperation with the General Directorate of Customs of the Dominican Republic and was funded by the Government of Canada and the Federal Republic of Germany.

UNLIREC holds Regional Workshop on Small Arms and Ammunition Marking

UNLIREC holds Regional Workshop on Small Arms and Ammunition Marking

9 December 2021 – In the framework of the project on Combatting the Illicit Trafficking of Arms and Ammunition in Latin America and the Caribbean, UNLIREC held a webinar on Small Arms and Ammunition Marking for members of national institutions with responsibilities in the control of firearms and ammunition in Latin American countries.

The regional workshop highlighted the importance of marking as a measure which provides basic information that facilitates the tracing of weapons and ammunition from their manufacture to their last legal holder. Similarly, marking at different points in a weapon’s life cycle allows for better record-keeping at a national level; it also helps establish possible links between weapons and crimes, thus facilitating criminal investigation processes and the identification of illicit trafficking trends.

The activity addressed international obligations, standards and best practices on marking as contained in relevant international instruments and the Modular Small-Arms Control Implementation Compendium. Likewise, UNLIREC’s technical proposal for firearms and ammunition marking was presented in order to contribute to the standardisation of marking protocols. Finally, a demonstration was given on one of the marking methods in order to strengthen the skills of personnel who have responsibilities in these matters from Latin American institutions.

Several institutions participated in the webinar, including, inter alia, Police, Armed Forces, control bodies, investigative agencies, Ministries of security and Foreign Affairs, forensic institutions, customs, public prosecutors’ offices, and various civil society organisations.

The implementation of this project is made possible thanks to the financial support of the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany.

UNLIREC and Jamaica team up with FBI to combat proliferation of explosives

As part of the integral technical assistance package that UNLIREC is delivering in Jamaica for strengthening the implementation of resolution 1540 (2004), the UNLIREC team worked together with officials from FBI to provide training for law enforcement officials for the detection and handling of sensitive dual use chemical materials and improvised explosives from 2-4 January 2016 in the country’s capital, Kingston. In particular, this initiative falls under operative paragraph 3 of UNSCR 1540, which calls on States to develop and maintain appropriate effective physical protection measures to account for and secure sensitive materials in production, use, storage or transport.

During the workshop, 30 participants from seven different government agencies, including the Police Force, Defense Force, Customs, Port Authority, among others, had the opportunity to study some of the main chemicals and potential explosive material that is readily available in the island. The theoretical sessions included a basic introduction to explosives and improvised explosives, detection of sensitive chemicals, processing of crime scenes and post blast scenarios. These sessions were further complemented by practical demonstrations at the range, where instructors conducted controlled explosions to demonstrate the potential risks of some of the elements procured.

Issues such as the importance of interagency collaboration for effective border controls, dialogue and outreach with the relevant industry, control lists for dual use chemicals and sustained training were highlighted during the course.

The United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC) is the only UN regional entity specialized in disarmament and non-proliferation in the Latin American and Caribbean region. Its main function is to translate the decisions, instruments and commitments of Member States in the field of disarmament and non-proliferation into action, at national, sub-regional and regional levels.

Seminar on the development of a national course within the framework of WMD commodity identification training

Representatives of the United States Department of Energy summoned various national authorities in Peru and a number of international experts from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, México, Panama and Peru to the UNLUREC headquarters in Lima from March 11-13, 2014, to discuss and present the basic components and content of an effective CIT training program.

Highlighting the importance of consolidating and implementing interinstitutional working groups, the purpose of the workshop was to identify best practice and lessons learned in countries that have already developed these courses and provide useful tools for strengthening existing programs or encouraging them in countries where they have not been developed.

As an example of best practice, UNLIREC presented the content and characteristics of its training courses and capacity building tools, referring mainly to its Inter-Institutional Course on Combating Illicit Firearms Trafficking (IITC).

UNLIREC´s participation in this workshop is part of its legal and technical assistance activities in the implementation of international instruments on non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

For more information about UNLIREC, visit its web page [www.unlirec.com]. For any questions, contact Amanda Cowl, Political Affairs Officer, at [cowl@unlirec.org].

UN Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean Arms Trade Treaty Implementation Course launched this week in Costa Rica

In response to requests by States in Latin America and the Caribbean, and to help prepare them for the implementation of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC) has developed a practical training course on ATT Implementation (“ATT Implementation Course”). The course complements resources provided by the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA), including the UNODA ATT implementation toolkit. The training course was piloted at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in San Jose, Costa Rica, from 8-10 October 2014. National operators dealing with the control of imports and exports of conventional arms attended the training, alongside relevant officials from other Central American States.

With financial support from Germany and Spain, the training course is available for interested States throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. It aims to assist States in their efforts to create national control lists and responsibly evaluate the risks involved in conventional arms transfers, with modules on various topics including the technical aspects of conventional arms and their trade, legal requirements of treaty implementation, and arms transfer risk assessments.

The course also features a unique practical simulation, where participants play various roles to review transfer ‘cases’, and apply tools introduced in the classroom to determine whether the transfers should be ‘authorized’. In addition, a model end-user certificate drawing on global best practices is provided to Member States as a starting point for strengthening arms transfer controls. German funding has made possible an English-language version of the course, adapted to the Caribbean context, which will be piloted to assist Caribbean States.

Since the beginning of the ATT process over a decade ago, States in Latin America and the Caribbean have been highly active in supporting the Treaty. So far, the following 15 States have ratified the Treaty: Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bahamas, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago and Uruguay. Having secured the requisite 50 ratifications, the Treaty will enter into force on 24 December 2014.

For more information on UNLIREC visit (www.unlirec.org.) Please direct all questions or inquiries to: Ms Amanda Cowl, Political Affairs Officer, at (cowl@unlirec.org).