On 26 March, the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC), in collaboration with the Costa Rican Ministry of Public Security, conducted the Seminar on the Control of Firearm and Ammunition Imports Control in San José, with particular focus on private security companies and trading houses as end-users. In addition to members of civil society, the Seminar boasted the participation of authorities and representatives from the Office for Private Security Services, the General Directorate of Armament, the General Directorate of Customs, the Judicial Investigation Department, the Intelligence and National Security Department, the Department of Arms and Explosives Control, the Fiscal Control Police and officials from the Special Intervention Unit as entities responsible for the authorization and control of arms transfers and the regulation of private security services.

During the day, stakeholders shared the main findings on the private security and firearms situation in Latin America and the Caribbean. Legal provisions and obligations concerning the control of arms and ammunition transfers included in international instruments were addressed, placing special emphasis on those outlined in the Arms Trade Treaty. For their part, authorities from the Ministry of Public Security and the General Directorate of Customs shared the progress being made in the national system of arms imports in Costa Rica.

The activity ended with two practical simulation exercises. Participants were given the opportunity to apply the import evaluation methodology created by UNLIREC on the basis of criteria and elements outlined in international instruments. The seminar placed particular emphasis on transfers intended for private security and arms trading companies.

The workshop allowed stakeholders to visualize future challenges and promote cooperation and coordination among the national entities responsible for controlling transfers and civilian-held firearms as well as regulating private security services.

Since 2015 the United Nations Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC) has been implementing assistance projects in Costa Rica on small arms and ammunition control in the private security sector.

The implementation of this Project is made possible thanks to financial support from the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany.