UNLIREC and the Ministry of Justice and Public Security co-organized a seminar on 17 November to advance the standardization of small arms and ammunition marking practices in El Salvador. The marking of small arms and their ammunition provides basic information for uniquely identifying small arms; allows for their effective tracing to its last legal owners; facilitates criminal investigations; and improves stockpile management systems among other benefits.

This seminar gathered policy makers and technicians from various institutions, including Defense, Justice and Public Security, Foreign Affairs, Public Ministry, the National Police, and international experts from the OAS and UNLIREC. During the seminar, UNLIREC presented its Technical Guide for the Marking of Small Arms and their Ammunition, aiming to complement, from a technical standpoint, the progress achieved on the issue of marking through relevant international instruments by proposing standard markings, using alphanumeric codes, to be applied at various stages in the life cycle of small arms and their ammunition.

The Ministry of Justice and Public Security, as Coordinator of the inter-institutional firearms working group, recommended to the Ministry of Defense the adoption of standard markings based on the recommendations made by UNLIREC´s Technical Guide. UNLIREC will continue providing assistance to El Salvador with the aim of incorporating marking standards into national legal frameworks and administrative procedures. This initiative was made possible through financial support from the Federal Republic of Germany.

UNLIREC, as the regional office of the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs, seeks to advance the cause of practical disarmament in Latin America and the Caribbean and to support Member States in the region in their implementation of international disarmament and non-proliferation instruments, including the UN 2001 Programme of Action on Illicit Small Arms and Light Weapons.

For more information on UNLIREC visit [www.unlirec.com]. For any questions contact Amanda Cowl, Political Affairs Officer, at [cowl@unlirec.org].