From 8–12 October 2012, the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs – through its Regional Disarmament Centre (UNLIREC) – assisted the Government of St. Lucia in the destruction of nearly 380 surplus, obsolete and confiscated firearms and close to 16,000 rounds of small arms ammunition. The periodic destruction of weapons and ammunition is the most effective means of ensuring that they do not make their way back onto the streets and/or be diverted to criminal networks. Both weapons and ammunition destruction were undertaken using the UN International Small Arms Control Standards (ISACS) and the UN International Ammunition Technical Guidelines (IATG).
All 380 weapons were cut using a set of hydraulic shears donated by UNLIREC to the Government of St. Lucia in May 2012, which included the training of 10 members of the Royal St. Lucia Police Force (RSLPF) on its use and maintenance. The ammunition destruction took place at Vieux Fort using a field expedient disposal method. An additional 10 members of the RSLPF were also trained on the safe logistic destruction of ammunition according to the IATG. Both destruction processes included independent monitoring by UNLIREC personnel.
The destruction activities were made possible thanks to the support of the US Department of State´s Office for Weapons Removal and Abatement and form part of a broader UNLIREC Caribbean Assistance Programme, which began in 2010, and has been carried out in nine Caribbean countries with the support of the United States and Canada. Since June 2010, UNLIREC has assisted the Government of St. Lucia in the development of a National Action Plan on Stockpile Management and Firearms Destruction, securing stockpile facilities through the provision of international standard padlocks, and training of law enforcement officials in the fight against illicit firearms trafficking.
The Office for Disarmament Affairs’ Regional Disarmament Centres, which includes UNLIREC, serves over 135 countries worldwide and assists them in the implementation of arms control and disarmament programmes, such as the implementation of the UN 2001 Programme of Action on Small Arms.
For more information on UNLIREC visit (www.unlirec.org.) Please direct all questions or inquiries to: Ms. Amanda Cowl, Political Affairs Officer at (firstname.lastname@example.org)