Disarmament and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction: UNLIREC holds workshop on international treaties for Peruvian authorities

Disarmament and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction: UNLIREC holds workshop on international treaties for Peruvian authorities

On 30 June 2022, UNLIREC held a national introductory workshop in Peru which focused on the international legal regime against biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons, also known as weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and emphasized biological security.

This activity was organized in coordination with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Peru, and with the intervention of the International Support Unit of the Biological Weapons Convention (ISU-BWC) from the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs in Geneva. Thirty Peruvian officers involved in implementation of WMD disarmament and non-proliferation treaties participated.

The workshop gathered representatives of relevant national institutions and facilitated a discourse on the challenges and opportunities to strengthen the non-proliferation regime of biological weapons in Peru.
Controlling biological agents, toxins and related goods is important since they could be used for both legitimate purposes, such as medicine, as well as illegitimate purposes, namely the proliferation of biological weapons. Conversations focused on Peru´s interest in adopting and implementing national legislation to reduce the risks of the illegitimate uses of biological agents, toxins, and related goods. Such legislation would contribute to the security of citizens. During the workshop good practices and effective measures to protect people and the environment of the laboratories to infectious agents and toxins were also discussed.

Complementary, the workshop facilitated a dialogue on the main provisions included in international instruments such as the BWC and the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540 (2004) which mandate the prevention of the proliferation of WMD and their means of delivery to non-State actors.

Through this activity, UNLIREC seeks to contribute to strengthened capacities of Peruvian authorities to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, including biological weapons in accordance with the UN Secretary-General’s Agenda for Disarmament – Securing our common future.

UNLIREC continues Resolution 1540 Assistance Package in Peru

On February 21st, 2019, UNLIREC and the Government of Peru held the workshop Moving towards a national regulation against biological weapons. The activity was part of the implementation roadmap of Resolution 1540 and had as its main goals: deepening knowledge on the main conventional instruments on weapons of mass destruction and to resume the drafting of an instrument on the prohibition of biological weapons and the regulation of aspects associated to biological related materials for proliferation prevention.

This meeting brought together 26 representatives from 7 institutions and agencies, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Defense, Health, Production, Environment, National Police and National Superintendence of Tax Administration and the Peruvian.

During the workshop, participants received information on the content of the main non-proliferation treaties and conventions, plus Resolution 1540, in addition to the measures needed for its national implementation. The representatives of the different institutions and sectors were also able to discuss and exchange information on aspects related to the modernization of the national legislation, particularly in the biological field.

Earlier this year, between November 14th and 16th UNLIREC had the opportunity to support national authorities in the organization of a round table to strengthen Resolution 1540.

This workshop is part of UNLIREC’s 1540 Assistance Package with financial support from Canada.

Regional Seminar on the Implementation of UNSCR 1540 held in the Dominican Republic

The Regional Seminar on Enhancing Strategic Trade and Border Controls in Latin America and the Caribbean was held from 7 to 8 March 2018 in Santo Domingo, the Dominican Republic. The event was organized by the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean with the generous financial support from the Government of Canada.

Representatives from 22 countries gathered together to deliberate ways of ensuring effective implementation of the Resolution 1540 in the Latin American and the Caribbean region. The wealth of participants from States, international and regional organizations, as well as from civil society organizations created an environment for fruitful dialogue between different stakeholders.

The sessions in the Seminar were structured around the different Resolution 1540 implementation support tools and assistance available in the region. Furthermore, the Seminar served as a platform to launch UNLIREC´s new Licensing Guide. The Guide provides States with easy-to-read, structured guidance on how to implement a national licensing framework that regulates the flow of goods and technologies that may be of proliferation concern.

The Seminar concluded with an interactive Open Space session, in which the States were invited to share and discuss their needs and priorities for the next steps in the implementation of the Resolution 1540. The discussion paved the way for enhanced regional cooperation, as a number of challenges and best practices were shared between different States in the region. This Seminar is the final activity within UNLIREC´s assistance package for UNSCR 1540 implementation, which has been implemented during the last two years, thank to the support from the Government of Canada.

Finalization of National Action Plan – Guyana

On 28 February 2018, UNLIREC representatives returned to Georgetown, Guyana accompanied by a UNSCR 1540 Expert from New York to assist national authorities in the finalisation of Guyana’s National Action Plan (NAP).

The NAP workshop was co-hosted with Guyana’s Ministry of Public Security as part of UNLIREC’s Programme for Strengthening the Capacities of States in Latin America and the Caribbean to Implement UNSCR 1540 (2004). Participating agencies included the Ministries of Public Security; Public Health; Agriculture; Guyana Revenue Authority (Customs); Guyana Police Force and Guyana Defence Force.

The event complemented previous efforts made during the initial NAP workshop held in October 2017 in Georgetown and the result was a significantly more elaborated version of the document with input from a broad range of national authorities, including initiatives to combat proliferation financing as put forward by Guyana’s Ministry of Finance.

Final NAP Workshop held in Suriname

UNLIREC representatives travelled to Paramaribo, Suriname to co-host a National Action Plan (NAP) finalisation workshop alongside Suriname’s Ministry of Defence. The workshop also devoted a number of afternoon sessions to select themes that corresponded with UNSCR 1540 implementation topics such as the creation of an inter-institutional mechanism, role and function of a national authority and the development of national control lists.

The workshop provided a forum for select group of representatives from national authorities including the Ministries of Defence, Foreign Affairs, Civil Aviation Safety Authority, Attorney-Generals and Police and Trade. The workshop was also attended by a UNSCR 1540 Expert who was able to provide valuable insights that contributed to the enhanced development of Suriname’s NAP.

UNLIREC’s technical assistance was provided to Suriname as part of UNLIREC’s Programme for Strengthening the Capacities of States in Latin America and the Caribbean to Implement UNSCR 1540 (2004).