From 4 – 22 February 2013, technical specialists from the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC) joined forces with the Ministry of the Armed Forces of the Dominican Republic (MAF-DR) to destroy over 10,000 surplus and obsolete small arms and more than 20 tonnes of surplus and obsolete small arms and light weapons ammunition. These achievements represent another important benchmark in the implementation of a National Action Plan for Stockpile Management and Firearms and Ammunition Destruction jointly developed by UNLIREC and MAF-DR in 2010 thanks to a grant provided by the United States Department of State´s Office for Weapons Removal and Abatement.

All weapons were destroyed using hydraulic shears and disc saws donated by UNLIREC to the MAF-DR and in accordance with a set of UNLIREC standard operating procedures based on the UN International Small Arms Control Standards. Small arms ammunition was destroyed with an ammunition burning tank designed by UNLIREC and donated to the MAF-DR. Light Weapons ammunition was destroyed via open burning/open detonation operations at the Sierra Prieta demolition camp in accordance with the UN International Ammunition Technical Guidelines (IATG).

To date, as part of the joint implementation of the National Action Plan, UNLIREC and the MAF-DR have destroyed almost 12,000 weapons, disposed of over 41 tonnes of small arms and light weapons ammunition, enhanced the security of 40 weapons and ammunition stockpile facilities and trained 56 officials in stockpile management and destruction standards and operations. UNLIREC and MAF-DR plan to destroy an additional 20,000 surplus and obsolete military and police weapons before the National Action Plan is complete.

Sound stockpile management, including the regular destruction of surplus and obsolete weapons and ammunition, is a key measure in efforts to combat illicit small arms trafficking under the 2001 UN Programme of Action on Small Arms. UNLIREC, the regional arm of the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs, is based in Lima, Peru and provides technical assistance to the 33 countries of Latin America and the Caribbean.

For more information on UNLIREC visit []. Please direct all questions or inquiries to: Ms. Amanda Cowl, Political Affairs Officer [].