From 7 to 18 October 2013, the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC) – in close collaboration with the Ministry of Defense of Suriname – conducted a 10-day training course at the Ministry of Defense in Paramaribo on combating illicit firearms trafficking for Surinamese security and justice sector officials.

This inter-institutional course – the first of its kind carried out in Suriname – resulted in the training of 44 law enforcement officers including police, customs and intelligence officials, armed forces, airport security and correctional services officials, among others whereby participants bolstered their ability to undertake firearms investigative techniques in keeping with international standards and best practices. Participants received specialized training in the following areas: 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 small arms control measures, such as weapons destruction and stockpile management. The course also covered cross-cutting issues related to the use of force, gender awareness and child protection.

Since 2004, UNLIREC has trained over 3,500 law enforcement officers throughout 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 and ammunition.

This training activity forms part of UNLIREC’s Firearms Assistance Package for Caribbean States. At the request of the Government, UNLIREC extended this Assistance Package to include Suriname in 2013, which also contemplates technical assistance on stockpile management, firearms and ammunition destruction, as well as recommendations on legal reforms and updates to the national firearms act. Additionally, in parallel to the law enforcement training course, national authorities organized a roundtable meeting for policy makers during which UNLIREC presented its legal firearms comparative study. The activities carried out in Suriname were made possible thanks to the financial support of the Government of the United States of America.

UNLIREC serves 33 countries in the region in assisting them in the development of disarmament policies and the implementation of international disarmament instruments, most notably the UN 2001 Programme of Action on Small Arms and Light Weapons.

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