To support state efforts to implement UN Security Council resolution 1540 (2004), the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC), partnered with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the Ministry of Defense of Suriname, from 7-8 May 2019 to conduct a table top exercise on maritime and port security. This event was made possible thanks to the financial support of the Government of Canada.

The exercise engaged 36 government officials (including the navy, coast guard, maritime police, maritime and port authority) in dynamic discussions around a series of potential threat scenarios and cases presented by IMO and UNLIREC experts, such as illicit trafficking of WMD materials, maritime safety inspections, physical protection of ports and management of hazardous materials.

Participants also addressed issues relating to inter-institutional coordination, adoption of preventive and reactive measures to possible threats, revision of existing operational procedures at ports, existing legal framework and mechanisms for establishing roles and responsibilities of relevant institutions.

This tabletop exercise was the result of an official request for assistance from Suriname in alignment with the country’s 1540 Voluntary National Action Plan, which was presented by the country to the 1540 Committee and Group of Experts earlier this year.

UNLIREC has reaffirmed its commitment to continued collaboration with the Government of Suriname to further strengthen the implementation of resolution 1540 (2004) in the country and looks forward to continuing its fruitful collaboration with the IMO and other partner agencies to strengthen maritime and port security across the region.