The United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC) continues to assist States of the region with the objective of supporting their efforts to implement the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). UNLIREC, with the collaboration of the International Organizations Directorate of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Paraguay, held the seventh edition of its landmark Course on the Interdiction of Arms, Ammunition, Parts and Components (ISAAP), which took place in Asunción, Paraguay from 22-26 July.

The objective of this course is to collaborate in strengthening the capacity of States in their efforts to prevent and combat illicit firearms trafficking through the specialized training of x-ray machine operators. These operators work in the areas of surveillance and inspection at points of entry, exit as well as land, air and sea border crossings. Through this assistance, States are better equipped to reduce the undesirable effects of firearms proliferation and armed violence currently affecting the region.

The course resulted in the training of 30 x-ray operators representing the Directorates of Civil Aviation, National Customs and War Material, trained using a theoretical and practical approach on fundamental aspects related to the interpretation of X-ray images, technical specifications of small arms, their parts, components, ammunition and explosives; while paying special attention to the different factors influencing their visualization through X-ray technology. This course included training sessions using an online platform developed by the Center for Adaptive Security Research and Applications (CASRA), as well as a series of practical exercises on concealment methods using real arms and ammunition.

The course constitutes the fourth and final activity undertaken under this year´s ATT-VTF project, however, conversations are being held with the Paraguayan government in order to continue exploring cooperation opportunities and thus continue to strengthen ATT implementation.

All project-related activities were funded by the ATT Voluntary Trust Fund (VTF), of which Paraguay is a beneficiary and in which UNLIREC, at the request of the Paraguayan authorities, is an implementing partner.