On 26 April 2012 the United Nations Office for Disarmament’s Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC) continued its assistance to the Government of Trinidad and Tobago in combatting illicit trafficking in firearms. In November 2011 UNLIREC assisted the Government in the destruction of 1,155 seized and surplus firearms and 5 tonnes of small arms ammunition.

On Thursday morning, 16,860 rounds of ammunition were destroyed at the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force Teteron Barracks using a Small Arms Ammunition Burning Tank (SAABT) designed and commissioned by UNLIREC and donated to the Trinidad and Tobago Government. Two law enforcement officials from the Trinidad and Tobago Police Force were trained in the operation of the SAABT, thus further enhancing indigenous capacity.

UNLIREC has also procured for the Government a set of Hydraulic Shears. Training for security sector personnel on use of the shears will take place on 18 May 2012 at which time a further 300-400 firearms will be destroyed. The destruction of firearms and ammunition in cooperation with the Government of Trinidad and Tobago is part of their joint efforts to combat the illicit trafficking in firearms, strengthen the capacity of the country’s security forces and reduce armed violence in Trinidad and Tobago

The destruction activities are made possible with the financial support of the US Department of State Office for Weapons Removal and Abatement. It is part of UNLIREC´s Caribbean Assistance Program, launched in Trinidad and Tobago in July 2010 and carried out in eight Caribbean countries with the financial support of Canada and the USA.

The Office for Disarmament Affairs’ Regional Disarmament Centres, which includes UNLIREC, serve over 135 countries worldwide and assists them in the implementation of arms control and disarmament programmes, such as the implementation of the 2001 UN Programme of Action on Small Arms.