The United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC) with the financial support from the Federal Republic of Germany and in collaboration with the Government of Jamaica, carried out the Caribbean Regional Outreach Seminar on Conventional Ammunition Management on 10-11 September 2019 in Kingston.
This regional seminar gathered CARICOM States to hold informal discussions on issues relevant to safe, secure and accountable management of conventional ammunition, as well as on regulatory and assistance needs. The outcomes of the discussions will feed into the identification of priorities by the Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) tasked to discuss problems arising from the accumulation of conventional ammunition in surplus. The GGE is convened to meet in 2020 pursuant to the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 72/55 (2017).
UNGA/res/72/55 emphasizes that “diversion from ammunition stockpiles has contributed to the intensity and duration of armed conflict and sustained armed violence around the world”. In the Caribbean, the constant supply, availability, and proliferation of ammunition to all potential actors of violence are a sine qua non to producing the highest armed violence records in the world.
Caribbean State delegations included both technical and policy experts in the field. During the seminar, discussions drew on technical inputs provided by UN specialized agencies, regional organizations and thematic experts. In particular, safety and security threats associated with conventional ammunition were identified, as well as lessons learned and best practices to prevent illicit trafficking and diversion of small arms ammunition. National and regional priorities within the international process on ammunition included ammunition auditing, marking and tracing, as well as strengthening of border controls and physical security and stockpile management. A call for sustained international assistance was made by Caribbean States to help build state capacity and reduce associated risks. The existing international guidelines and cooperation frameworks were also presented, most notably UN SaferGuard’s Programme and its International Ammunition Technical Guidelines (IATG).