On 16 April 2012, the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs, through its Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC), launched a training course to combat illicit firearms trafficking for security sector officers of Member States of the Caribbean region.

The 10-day training course is scheduled to run until 27 April 2012, in Port of Spain, with the support of the Government of Trinidad and Tobago.

This regional Inter-Institutional Training Course on Combating the Illicit Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition and Explosives (IITC) will train more than 50 security sector and law enforcement officers from 12 Member States of the Caribbean region: Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago.

Participants will learn interactive firearms investigation techniques, technical aspects of weapons and ammunition identification, intelligence gathering and crime scene management, tracing and preparation of evidence in criminal proceedings, as well as practical disarmament measures such as weapons destruction and stockpile management. The course also covers cross–cutting issues related to the use of force, gender awareness and child protection. The sub-regional course will introduce new issues, such as maritime security, container search and identification of armed individuals.

Since 2004, UNLIREC has trained over 3,000 law enforcement officers in Latin America and the Caribbean, strengthening the capacities of States in the region to address the problem of the proliferation of and trafficking in illicit firearms.

This training course is part of UNLIREC’s Firearms Assistance Package to Caribbean States, which began in 2010, with the financial support of Canada and the United States of America.

UNLIREC´s Assistance Package strengthens State capacity to implement relevant international and regional disarmament instruments such as the United Nations Programme of Action on Small Arms and the CIFTA Convention.

In parallel to this sub-regional training course, UNLIREC will also provide technical assistance to the Government of Trinidad and Tobago in the destruction of surplus and obsolete firearms and ammunition.