As part of the integral technical assistance package that UNLIREC is delivering in Jamaica for strengthening the implementation of resolution 1540 (2004), the UNLIREC team worked together with officials from FBI to provide training for law enforcement officials for the detection and handling of sensitive dual use chemical materials and improvised explosives from 2-4 January 2016 in the country’s capital, Kingston. In particular, this initiative falls under operative paragraph 3 of UNSCR 1540, which calls on States to develop and maintain appropriate effective physical protection measures to account for and secure sensitive materials in production, use, storage or transport.

During the workshop, 30 participants from seven different government agencies, including the Police Force, Defense Force, Customs, Port Authority, among others, had the opportunity to study some of the main chemicals and potential explosive material that is readily available in the island. The theoretical sessions included a basic introduction to explosives and improvised explosives, detection of sensitive chemicals, processing of crime scenes and post blast scenarios. These sessions were further complemented by practical demonstrations at the range, where instructors conducted controlled explosions to demonstrate the potential risks of some of the elements procured.

Issues such as the importance of interagency collaboration for effective border controls, dialogue and outreach with the relevant industry, control lists for dual use chemicals and sustained training were highlighted during the course.

The United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC) is the only UN regional entity specialized in disarmament and non-proliferation in the Latin American and Caribbean region. Its main function is to translate the decisions, instruments and commitments of Member States in the field of disarmament and non-proliferation into action, at national, sub-regional and regional levels.